Fri | Dec 13, 2019

'We're getting somewhere' - Walker-Brown praises Reggae Girlz's team spirit

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
National defender Lauren Silver (right) bears down on Cuba captain Yarisleidy Mena during their CONCACAF Caribbean of Women's World Cup Qualifiers match at the National Stadium on Sunday night. Silver scored in the Jamaicans' 6-1 victory.
National senior women's football team assistant coach Lorne Donaldson (left) converses with Silver (center) and her teammate Chantelle Swaby after the game.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Women's Committee chairperson, Elaine Walker-Brown is pleased with the camaraderie and grit showed by the team that advanced to the CONCACAF final stage of FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers. Walker-Brown who has been involved in women's football since 1991, mentioned left back Lauren Silver as one of the main players responsible for the high morale in the camp.

"We were at the CAC Games and she looked at the president (Michael Ricketts) and said :'Give us a chance, Sir. The more we play together the better we will be," Walker-Brown said of Silver, who scored a powerful curling free kick against Cuba in the Caribbean stage of CONCACAF qualifiers on Sunday night.




"She is a go-getter who put her all into it. She is the grand daughter of Roy Forrester (a former local weather forecaster) and that is the connection, that it is out of many one people. The Girlz feel like they are part of something," she said of Silver who was born in Miami, Florida.

"If you look at the team, they are mostly in universities and playing regular football. We now have a full team of coaches and support staff. We have specialist goalkeeper coach (Hubert Busby) and physical trainer (Will Hitzelberger) assigned to the programme," Walker-Brown said.

"In the past, that was not in place. We now travel with a full staff. The coaches just focus on technical aspects. We are preparing better. We are getting somewhere. Not at 100 per cent, but something is happening and we are getting some resources."

Walker-Brown said that things have changed since Cedella Marley came on board as the team's ambassador four years ago.

"One of the things to look at is the development programme. Four years ago, Cedella Marley came on board and is still supporting the programme. She has been providing support with camps in Florida and we have a little funding now so that has made a difference," Walker-Brown said.