Miami camp bringing out best in Girlz - Downswell
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
National senior women's football team assistant coach, Wendell Downswell, believes that their two-week training camp in the United States is the ideal preparation for the Reggae Girlz ahead of their participation in this month's Caribbean Football Union (CFU) World Cup qualifiers.
The qualifiers will be held in the Trinidad and Tobago from August 17-26. The Reggae Girls will take on Bermuda on August 18, then oppose Puerto Rico three days later, before closing out their campaign against Haiti on August 23.
The top two teams from group will advance to the semi-final round of the qualifiers, which will be held in the United States later this year.
The camp, which is being held at the Miami Dade College -Kendall campus, was made possible through the efforts of global ambassador for women's football in Jamaica, Cedalla Marley and Florida State senator, Dwight Bullard's office.
Downswell told The Gleaner in an interview from their base in Miami yesterday that he is very appreciative of the camp because the training facilities are excellent and the girls have been responding well in the training sessions so far.
"It will enhance the players, having them in a foreign environment before a tournament like this," said Downswell. "We've less distractions, they are pretty focused and they know exactly what they want and so we are getting the best out of them here," said the veteran coach.
"The training sessions have been going pretty good so far because we have had five sessions, which included two gym sessions and we are pretty satisfied as they have responded in a very positive way," Downswell said.
He also noted that the coaching staff has done a number of blackboard sessions and tactical planning.
"We have also been working on our defensive network and ... the girls have shown a lot of improvements," he pointed out.
Downswell stated that the Jamaica team will be much-improved ahead of their departure for Trinidad and Tobago on August 16.
"We are pretty confident that we can go to Trinidad and do well because the girls have responded in a very positive way," he said.
"We can see them going from strength to strength and hopefully we can keep them on this trend and once we keep them on this trend, then it will be quite satisfactory for us," he remarked.