Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Ricketts’ dream - JFF boss hunts landmark achievement

Published:Sunday | September 2, 2018 | 12:18 AMAkino Ming
Former Canada goalkeeper and CONCACAF head of women's football, Karina Leblanc (left), in discussion with Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts (right) and JFF security consultant Robert Finzi-Smith at the National Stadium on Friday night during the Jamaica versus Trinidad and Tobago women's match.
The Reggae Girlz celebrate their equaliser during Friday night's CONCACAF Caribbean Women's World Cup Qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago at the National Stadium. Jamaica won 4-1.
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With one match still to be played, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are already champions of the Caribbean CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers having convincingly won all their three games.

Their performances mean that they have qualified for the final stage of the World Cup Qualifiers to be staged in the United States between October 4 and 17.

Many persons within the football fraternity give the Girlz a good chance of qualifying for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the president of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, who believes this could be his landmark achievement for his tenure as the JFF boss.

“The dream of every administration is to qualify for a global tournament and we are working very hard, and I really want to leave a landmark achievement when I leave office, and I believe this is a very good opportunity to do so. We have a real good chance,” Rickets said.

“We at the JFF have been giving the girls the full support. We have restarted the women’s premier league and the Under-15 girls tournament.”

He continued: “We sent them to the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) Games and I thought it did a lot for their preparation as they were exposed to the Central American countries.”

The team continued their impressive form in the tournament on Friday night by thrashing Trinidad and Tobago 4-1.

They won the first two games 9-0 and 4-0 against Antigua and Barbuda and Bermuda, respectively.

And with only our immediate neighbours, Cuba, left to play this evening at 6’clock, Ricketts believes the team is a well-oiled machine heading into the CONCACAF round.

“When I saw them (the team) at the CAC Games, I thought that we really needed to give them as many opportunities as we could, because they were extremely competitive and I thought that with a little more fortune, they could have medalled. We were competitive against the Central American and South American countries,” Ricketts said.

But Ricketts’ ambition to make the Girlz’s quest to become the first Jamaican female team to qualify for a global tournament his landmark achievement as president might be difficult, as they will now have to contend with the three giants in the confederation, United States, Canada and Mexico.