Blackwood relishes European challenge
Jamaica’s senior women’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign might have ended at the group stage, but their performances solidified several players on the radar of the top European clubs. Defender Deneisha Blackwood is one such player, who earned a spot with Slavia Prague’s women’s team in the Czech top flight.
Blackwood, who played for Navarro College, University of West Florida, and Florida Krush throughout her career, made the move to the Czech giants following her World Cup performance. With the first set of matches under her belt, the defender is enjoying life in Europe.
“The language, I must say, is one of the biggest factors right now, but apart from that, it has been great, it’s a new environment,” Blackwood said recently in an interview. “As I said, I’ve been to so many places so it’s easy to adapt. It’s going good and I’m enjoying my time.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DEBUT
Blackwood has indeed been impressing with her performances in recent matches, and got the chance to live out one of her dreams when she made her debut in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
“It was amazing, I must say,” she said. “I used to watch the boys of my team play and I was like, ‘I really want to play in this game one day,’ and for me to get my first 90 minutes, it was a good experience.”
In fact, Blackwood was able to grab her first Champions League assist as her team drummed Scottish outfit, Hibernian LFC, 5-1 in the second leg of the round of 32 fixtures for a 9-2 aggregate scoreline.
Slavia Prague will next face reigning English champions Arsenal Women in the first leg of the round of 16 on October 16.
Blackwood is now with the Reggae Girlz, fighting for an Olympic qualification berth. The team secured an easy qualification to the Concacaf phase of qualifying, after maximum points in their Caribbean Football Union round.
– Gregory Bryce