Sun | Nov 17, 2019

Objectives met! - Menzies close to naming final squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup

Published:Monday | April 8, 2019 | 12:31 AMRachid Parchment/Assistant Sports Editor
Jamaica’s Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw (right), pictured here in a game against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, August 31, 2018, was the Reggae Girlz’s goalscorer in their friendly international with South Africa, which ended in a 1-1 draw in Durban.
Jamaica’s Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw (right), pictured here in a game against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, August 31, 2018, was the Reggae Girlz’s goalscorer in their friendly international with South Africa, which ended in a 1-1 draw in Durban.

National senior women’s team head coach Hue Menzies said that although the official squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup will have 23 players, the Jamaica Football Federation has decided to take three extra players to the tournament in France this June.

Menzies and his technical staff had invited new players to be part of the national training camps this year ahead of the World Cup, hoping to see if the squad could be strengthened for women’s football’s showpiece tournament.

Before yesterday’s friendly international with hosts South Africa, Menzies said that the game would represent a final opportunity for the invitees to impress. After the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Menzies said he was now satisfied in making a decision on the final squad based on what he saw.

“We’re very close [to arriving at our final squad],” he said. “Obviously, we’ve gotta go back and meet with the (technical) staff. We got a few technicalities that we got to wait on with FIFA, but once we get all that stuff sorted, we can finalise our roster. We’ll take 23 for the games, but we’ll take 26 on the trip. That gives us an additional three players to be on that trip, and obviously, if somebody gets injured, we have those alternates there training.

TRUE EVALUATION

“Some players played their way in, some players played their way out. That’s just the nature of the beast, but we feel like we got a true evaluation of the players this week,” he continued.

Although he was disappointed with just a one-off game against ‘Banyana Banyana’ (‘Girls Girls’, as South Africa are nicknamed), Menzies said that the training sessions became more crucial to the selection process and that he is pleased with the assessment they allowed him to make.

He also praised South Africa for the hospitality the country showed the team.

“The accommodations, just [Saturday] night, and an event that they had for us and the South African team was tremendous. I thought they made us feel warm and welcomed. Overall, it was a little bit more than football for us. It was, obviously, South Africa and the relationship they have with Jamaica that made it very warm in a way where we feel like we were accepted. Today, they tried to cook as much Jamaican food for us. Today, they came very close with the oxtail.”