Sun | Sep 26, 2021

Show us what you can do

Busby Jr issues challenge to new Reggae Girlz ahead of Nigeria friendly

Published:Thursday | June 10, 2021 | 12:15 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Busby Jr
Busby Jr

Reggae Girlz head coach Hubert Bubsy Jr underlined that today’s friendly international against Nigeria at the BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, is a great opportunity for their five newcomers to the squad to show the quality they possess. The match...

Reggae Girlz head coach Hubert Bubsy Jr underlined that today’s friendly international against Nigeria at the BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, is a great opportunity for their five newcomers to the squad to show the quality they possess.

The match is set to get under way at 4:30 p.m.

Busby Jr said that increasing the talent pool ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, which start in November, is part of their current mandate and expects the first-timers to add quality and depth to the squad.

“The biggest thing we want to do is improve our national senior pool. We want to continue to have a large group of players, to help raise the bar and raise the level of the team,” said Busby Jr.

The newcomers include Engand-based players Rebecca Spencer of Tottenham, Shania Hayles from Aston Villa, and Vyan Sampson of Charlton Athletic, along with US-based Khalia Hayes from Maryland and Satara Murray of the Houston Dash.

“The players have been great and welcoming to the new players and we are focusing on getting them ready tactically for what we want to do against Nigeria,” he added. “They have integrated very well and it is like they have been here all this time, and that is a good sign.

“So it has been a good vibe and we are expecting them to perform well, as we just want to continue to put the building blocks on the foundation that is going to carry us into November,” Busby Jr said.

RE-ESTABLISHING IDENTITY

The prematch camp is the first chance the senior Reggae Girlz have had together in more than a year, and Busby Jr said the majority of the focus leading up to the game was on re-establishing team coordination and identity.

“The players haven’t seen each other in over a year so it is important that they connect first and get that unity needed to take them on to the pitch. The camp has been going really well and we are focusing on our playing model,” he stated.

Busby Jr, who was a part of Jamaica’s coaching panel for the team’s historic appearance at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, anticipates a tough challenge from the Nigerians, but insists that it is games like this that will help the team improve.

“Historically, they are our cousins from West Africa, so a lot of the same qualities in terms of athleticism and aggression along with good technical ability, are similar. They have a lot of senior players who have been around and been to a lot of World Cups, and they have been fairly successful in attending World Cups. So it will be a very challenging game for us,” said Busby Jr.

“It is a good game for us to go out and play and show our Jamaican fighting spirit. We wanted demanding, tough games and now we got them, so let’s see where we are at,” he added.

The Jamaicans will also face world champions the United States on Sunday at 9 p.m. Jamaica time.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com