Blaine certain Reggae Girlz will brush aside St Kitts/Nevis
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Coordinator of Jamaica's women's football programme, Vin Blaine, is highly confident that the nation's junior Reggae Girlz will be among the two teams advancing from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women's Under-20 championship to next year's CONCACAF Qualifiers.
Host country Jamaica will continue its journey when they face St Kitts-Nevis in the second game of a Group B double-header at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Trench Town, St Andrew, today, starting at 6 p.m.
Two hours earlier, the other two teams in the group, Suriname and the Dominican Republic, will square off.
At the completion of the group stage, the top two finishers in groups A and B will advance to the semi-finals. Then the semi-final winners will battle for the CFU Women's Under-20 Trophy.
Additionally, both finalists will qualify for the CONCACAF championships, to be played in the Cayman Islands next January.
"We (Jamaica) will leave the group. We know the quality of our players and our aspiration is to make it to the regional championship next year," Blaine confidently told The Gleaner yesterday.
PREPARATION GOING WELL
He said preparation has been going fairly well, as the local girls were engaged in camps. Now they are joined by the overseas players, who come mostly from Canada.
"The overseas-based girls joined the team earlier this week. There are only two new faces among the overseas group and they are Ce-Ann Lloyd and Keona Simmonds, both from Canada," Blaine disclosed.
He also noted that five Under-17 representatives are included in the squad. They are St Jago High schoolgirl star, 16-year-old Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Konya Plummer, Cachet Lue, Jessica Johnson and Venecia Blackwood.
Blaine admits that he knows nothing about St Kitts-Nevis, but is confident that Jamaica will win the game.
"I am sure that they can't beat us," Blaine, who is also the national men's senior team assistant coach, boasted.
The other group to be played at Waterhouse Stadium in Drewsland include Anguilla, Cuba, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. Blaine is expecting Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago to advance from that group.
"We should play one of Trinidad and Tobago or Cuba in the semi-final. We are expecting a hard fight there, but we know we can overcome any team in the Caribbean and advance to the CONCACAF stage," Blaine added.
Both finalists in the CFU championship will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 tournament and will join Cayman Islands as the teams qualifying from the Caribbean.