Sat | May 25, 2019

No surprises in Reggae Girlz World Cup squad – Price

Published:Tuesday | May 14, 2019 | 12:18 AMRobert Bailey
Assistant coach of Jamaica’s national senior women’s team Andrew Price (left) and top striker Khadija Shaw look on during the team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification celebrations in Spanish Town, St Catherine, in December 2018.

Andrew Price, assistant coach of Jamaica’s senior women’s team, says there will be no surprises when the coaching staff selects its 23-member Reggae Girlz squad to represent the country at next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

The Reggae Girlz, who will be making their debut at the tournament, are drawn in Group C alongside Brazil, Italy, and Australia.

Price told The Gleaner that the coaching staff must submit their final 23-man squad to FIFA by May 24, and Price noted that the technical staff were close to making an announcement, while pointing out that those who travel to France will be familiar names.

“I don’t think there should be any surprises because we are very close to naming the 23-man squad, and it will be done in short order,” said Price.

“I think the Jamaican public is acquainted with the players over a period of time because we have looked at about 40 players since May 2018,” he said.

Disappointment likely

“However, there will be disappointment because we can’t carry 40 ladies to the World Cup, and everyone who is vying for a spot on that final 23 is aware of it,” Price said.

“I think it is going to be hard on the technical staff to come up with the 23 names for the World Cup.”

The Jamaicans will continue their preparations against Panama on May 19 at the National Stadium before facing Scotland on May 27 in Scotland. Price added that both matches form a crucial part of their preparations for the tournament in France.

“Panama is sending a strong team because as a matter of fact, looking at their list of players, it is the same line-up that played us in the third-place play-off (at the Concacaf Women’s Championships) when we qualified for the World Cup, as we defeated them on penalty kicks and so we are expecting a tough game from them,” Price said.

Preparation mode

“These games are also very important for us because we want to look at some basic functions, and we want to get the team to gel and show how we want to perform in the World Cup, and so we are treating these games very seriously as we move closer to the World Cup in France,” Price noted.

The Reggae Girlz will get their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign started on June 9 against Brazil. They will play Italy on June 14 and Australia on June 18.

-R.B.