Fri | Mar 24, 2023

Shaw’s absence offers opportunity to test depth

Published:Sunday | February 5, 2023 | 12:43 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter

Khadija Shaw (right) enjoys a light moment with teammates during a Reggae Girlz training session at the National Stadium in December of 2022.
Khadija Shaw (right) enjoys a light moment with teammates during a Reggae Girlz training session at the National Stadium in December of 2022.

NATIONAL SENIOR women’s head coach Lorne Donaldson says the absence of captain Khadija Shaw from their upcoming Cup of Nations tournament provides opportunities for others to take the mantle and make a lasting impression in their bid to make the Women’s World Cup roster.

Donaldson confirmed that Shaw withdrew from the squad, scheduled to compete in the four-nation tournament in Australia, which begins on February 16.

According to Donaldson, Shaw cited personal reasons for her unavailability. Bristol City’s Shania Hayles has replaced her in the squad.

Donaldson admitted that they will have to adjust the way they play with Shaw not being there, but believes that it provides an opportunity for others to prove their worth in a crucial window which will begin the process of narrowing down the team.

“When one player is out, another player needs to step up. We are looking forward to the group that’s going and that is what we have to concentrate on. We have to change a little bit the way we play because she’s (Shaw’s) a big part of what we do,” Donaldson said.

“We will have to change some things as a group and we just move on. It’s football. Things happen and you make the adjustment.”


Hayles is coming in with good goalscoring form for Bristol City of the FA Women’s Championship, having scored seven goals in 10 games and registered one assist. Donaldson said Shaw’s withdrawal does provide an opportunity to test his options at the striker position.

“It’s always good to test our depth and this is one way we can test what we have depth-wise. And it is always a good thing. If I were a player, I would be very excited to come into a situation, not just Hayles, but everybody else, to come and see that there is an opportunity and you have to take it,” Donaldson said.

“Anytime there is an opportunity, especially [for] young players, they have to step up and take. So we are looking forward to seeing who take their opportunities.”

Donaldson said that he hopes that the situation improves so Shaw can be in a better state for their remaining international windows leading up to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“We didn’t have a phone conversation. I got the message by text. Hopefully, there will be a conversation to see what happens in the next window and going further into the World Cup,” Donaldson said.

Shaw scored her 10th goal of the Women’s Super League season in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Leicester City yesterday, maintaining her lead in the golden boot race and taking City to third place in the league with 16 points, two points away from league leaders Manchester United.