U-15 girls' preparation not adequate - Price
Jamaica under-15 Reggae Girlz coach Andrew Price says that with Jamaica's poor infrastructure and system of development, it was always going to be difficult for his players to make an impact at the CONCACAF Under-15 Girls' Championship in Bradenton, Florida.
The young Reggae Girlz won no group matches, losing the opening game 8-0 to USA then going down narrowly 3-2 to El Salvador before losing 4-1 to guests Portugal and 1-0 to Puerto Rico.
But Price, who was appointed coach just a week ahead of the team's departure, said their short-term and long-term preparation for the tournament was nothing compared to their opponents', and that was always going to pose a major challenge.
"The preparation period has to be taken into account, and we did not have enough sessions to prepare for this tournament. A lot of the players were making their first trip overseas, and it was the first the members were playing international football. We were playing against teams that play international football on a regular basis. So we were always at a disadvantage," he said.
The Jamaicans were placed in a tough division One with USA, Portugal and El Salvador, all seasoned teams at the age-group level. Although disappointed that they did not win a game or gain a point, Price thought there were a lot of positives in the experience.
"It wasn't the type of results that we wanted, but we have to take it as a learning curve and hope we keep these ladies together, in addition to the ladies in China in the exchange Under-15 programme. We have a group of about 40 we need to keep together and have them constantly in training so they can continue their development.
"This augers well for the future as a lot of the young ladies that participated in the tournament are 12 and 13 years old," Price explained. "As a matter of fact, one of the player is 11 years old. So it's good to give them this exposure so they will be more advanced when they play the tournament next time.
"In the future, if we are going to take our youth development seriously, we are going to have to play more games. We want more games for the young ladies so they can be exposed, improve their talent, and get a better understanding of the nuances of international football and really improve," Price said.