Mon | Feb 6, 2023

Coaches hope for good women’s league starts

Published:Sunday | December 4, 2022 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott - Gleaner Writer
Xavier Gilbert
Xavier Gilbert

AFTER A three-year absence, the Jamaica Women’s Premier League (JWPL) makes a return to the domestic scene this afternoon with four matches down to take place.

In the feature game at 1 p.m. at the UWI/Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, Fraziers Whip take on Olympic Gardens, while at 3 p.m., Cavalier play Royal Lakes.

At Paul Bogle High School, Baptiste Alliance play Springers United at 3 p.m. and Vere are at home to Real MoBay at Wembley at 1 p.m.

Olympic Gardens manager Michael Peart said although preparation has been far from ideal, they have high expectations. With many of the players from the defunct champions Waterhouse following coach Xavier Gilbert to Fraziers Whip, Peart believes there is a score to settle.

“I have very high expectations based on the last time we were knockout champions. From that last season, we have 90 per cent of our players back with us

“The preparation wasn’t that good because the funds weren’t that much and we had to limit our training days. So that hampered us.

“But we picture a satisfactory season in which we can compete but how well, we are not sure,” he declared.

“This year the girls want to go for everything. Last time Waterhouse was the team that defeated us in the league, so we have a little vendetta and we will try to settle that score.

“We are only sorry we could not prepare a little better because they are a quality team. But we will prepare for them. We will not roll over. We will compete and we are not going for less than a win.”

Olympic will look to veteran Monique Pryce to lead the side along with Stephanie Morgan. There are also high expectations surrounding a few national u15 players as well as some talent from the community.

“It will be the first time for a lot of them, so we hope they come with their A game,” he said.

HIGH HOPES

Like Peart, Gilbert described preparation as far from satisfactory but like his counterpart has high hopes for the season.

“Preparation has been back and forth because we didn’t know when we were going to start. Then when we heard it was going to start, we didn’t have an exact starting date.

“So we weren’t sure about how to plan training and put the necessary training plans in place. It was not exactly where we want to be but I guess all the teams are in the same place. We are just working to see if we can get off to a good start,” he said.

“It will be a tough game against Olympic Gardens. They are an experienced team but I believe our physical fitness will help us to prevail. I think we will do well in the competition. But it will be challenging because we are young and inexperienced.”

Gilbert revealed he brought over three senior players and four young players with him from Waterhouse and he is hoping they can produce their best on the day.

“It is going to be difficult because female football has not been played in Jamaica for some time,” said Gilbert.

The league is divided into two zones.

Fraziers Whip, Olympic Gardens, Baptiste Alliance, Springers United and Rangers make up Zone A, while, Cavalier, Royal Lakes, Vere, Real MoBay and Mile Gully are in Zone B.