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'It's not important who you play' - Donaldson: We will focus on ourselves

Published:Wednesday | September 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
Lorne Donaldson
Jamaica's Reggae Girlz celebrate a goal against Cuba during the CONCACAF Caribbean Women's World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium on Sunday. Jamaica won 6-1.

Assistant coach of Jamaica's national senior women's team, Lorne Donaldson, says it is now not very important who the Reggae Girlz will play in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship after the draw was made yesterday.

According to Donaldson the championship is just another step towards qualification for next year's FIFA World Cup in France.

Jamaica's Girlz were placed in Group B alongside seeded Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba. The other group comprises hosts USA, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

"The draw is just another step to get through, it does not matter who you play. We will focus on ourselves," Donaldson who is based in the USA, told The Gleaner after the CONCACAF draw in Miami, Florida yesterday.

"If you look at the men's World Cup some teams that people said would be there were not. I don't buy that theory about good or bad draw as the teams are there to do their best. I don't look at football like that. Everybody is there to compete," he added.

He downplayed plans for a camp ahead of next month's CONCACAF World Cup Qualification tournament. Donaldson said they won't be able to have a full camp.

"It is a very difficult time for us to get a proper camp. Most of our players are in college. We will talk with the head coach Hue Menzies to see what can be done," he shared.

"It is difficult to get the players away from college. Jody Brown is in high school in the USA and Khadija Shaw is at university, so it will be hard to get them early. It is a part of their duty to be in school. I don't think we will have a full camp. The girls are playing so we intend to have crash courses for those coming in," Donaldson explained.

Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba are the three teams that qualified from the Caribbean stage which was played here from August 25 to September 2.

Eight teams will be involved in the CONCACAF Women's Championship from October 4-17 in North Carolina and Texas. At the completion of the group stage, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, where the winners of the semi-finals and the third place play-off will qualify for the World Cup.

The losers of the third place play-off will enter the CONCACAF - CONMEBOL (South American Confederation) play-off for another spot.