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'Sorry for the delay'

Published:Monday | December 23, 2019 | 12:00 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts
Ashleigh Shim (left) is challenged by Chinyelu Asher during a national senior women’s football team training session at the Centre de Vie Raymond Kopa in Reims, France on Monday June 10, 2019. Looking on in the background is then national assistant coach Lorne Donaldson.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has pushed back the announcement of the new senior women’s national team coach to yet another week.

Ricketts had previously stated that the coach would be revealed last Tuesday, but there have been no developments in the hire since the weekend, with JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint saying on Thursday that the announcement was pushed back due to unfinished negotiations. Now, Ricketts says that they are close to finalising the details.

“We are working on it, and we will be in a position very soon to make an announcement, but things are looking up and things are looking positive,” he told The Gleaner.

Lorne Donaldson is the man tipped to replace Hue Menzies at the helm. Donaldson served as assistant to Menzies, who resigned in early December as the relationship between the 55-year-old coach and the administration was strained because of funds he was owed. Donaldson took over the squad for the Caribbean Olympic Qualifying tournament in late September when Menzies refused to coach the team as a result of him not being compensated by the federation. Donaldson guided the Reggae Girlz to top spot in their group, winning all four games with a goal differential of +36. With the final round of qualifying scheduled to take place next month, Ricketts acknowledges that the process has hampered the preparations for the final qualifying round but says that they are fast-tracking proceedings and they will be able to confirm their hire shortly.

“We are cognisant of the fact that we are behind,” he said. “So we will be certainly expediting the process as we have some catching up to do, but the process is far gone. So I am pretty sure that we will be in a position to make an announcement within a few days,” he said.

Wint confirmed the process stating that Ricketts was merely ensuring that all bases were covered before moving forward.

“The conversation has been had, but we need to ensure that we have everything tied down before that announcement is made,” he said.

The Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Final round runs from January 28 to February 9. Jamaica are drawn in Group B with Canada, Mexico, and St Kitts and Nevis.