Ciao, wah gwaan! - Italy-based Jamaicans anticipate World Cup clash
ItalY-based Reggae Girlz Allyson Swaby and Trudi Carter are both eagerly awaiting today’s FIFA Women’s World Cup game against Italy at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.
The match, which gets under way at 6 p.m. (11 a.m. Jamaica time), will see the pair facing three of their AS Roma teammates and many others, who they have come up against during the past Serie A Femminile campaign.
Swaby and Carter, two of only seven non-Italian players on the 24-member squad, helped AS Roma to a fourth-place finish in the championships alongside Italian internationals – defender Elisa Bartoli, midfielder Annamaria Serturini and third-string goalkeeper Rosalia Pipitone.
Carter, who missed much of the season after recovering from a knee injury, admitted that this was the game that she was most looking forward to.
“This is the game that I am really looking forward to, of course, because I actually play in Italy for AS Roma, so I know how they play and three of my teammates are actually on the team as well. I’m really excited about the game,” Carter told The Gleaner.
Swaby, a mainstay in Roma’s backline all season, is also particularly excited to come up against her fellow Giallorossi and knows that her familiarity with the style of play and some of the players can prove useful for Jamaica.
“I am looking forward to playing against some of my teammates and some who I have competed against in the past. It’s comforting to know the style that we are expecting to see, but also, they are incredible players, so that brings nerves into the game because I respect them all and I know how talented they are,” Swaby said.
She added that while she has kept contact with her Italian teammates while here in France, they have not really been talking about their game against each other.
“We haven’t really been talking about our game too much; we’ve just been comparing our experiences a little bit, but no real deep conversation about the game. We had been joking about it throughout the season, just the odds of Jamaica and Italy meeting in the same group with two Jamaicans on the Roma team. It’s really exciting and it feels like it has all come full circle this year,” Swaby smiled.
The big defender also gave her opinion on whether she believes more of her Jamaican teammates have the quality to play top-flight, high-level international club football.
“Yeah, of course. Making it to a World Cup is a huge achievement, and you don’t end up here by chance, you end up here because you are a great player, and so just based on that, I think all of our players have the potential to be on any team as long as they stay on the path that they are currently on and continue to develop,” Swaby said.
Meanwhile, Carter, an Arnett Gardens native, said that playing in the World Cup and representing a top club in the world is a clear sign to every youngster in Jamaica and beyond that one’s background does not have to determine their future.
“It’s amazing to grow up from the ghetto, where there is a lot of violence, crime, and people dying and everything, and to now be here competing at the highest level. I am extremely thankful and grateful. It really shows those little girls back in Jamaica that dreams come true once you believe and never give up,” Carter said.