Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Donaldson: Girlz have to improve on ‘team defending’

Published:Saturday | March 11, 2023 | 1:13 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson.
Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson.

At the recent Cup of Nations international friendly tournament in Australia, the Reggae Girlz produced some creditable performances against three high-quality teams but their defensive display was below what is required at the top international level.

The Girlz conceded nine goals, three per game, losing 3-0 to Spain in their opening encounter and to hosts Australia in their closing match. They also lost 3-2 to Czech Republic in the other game.

However, coach Lorne Donaldson says they are much better defensively than what they displayed in the Cup of Nations.

He pointed out that the squad included some new recruits who have not played together before while some are out of season. He believes they have the players to put together a competent defensive unit for the World Cup in July.

“If you remember I said we were going to look at players. I do not think we had a consistent backline because we had players who were playing for the first time and some hadn’t played in months as they were in preseason.

“We didn’t want to concede so many goals because that is not good but it is not just the backline, I put it at team defending. But I think we are going to be OK. We saw what we wanted to see and that is why we did it (play in the tournament).

“If we did not do it, we wouldn’t know. So now that we know we going to move forward,” he commented.

He added that it was a great opportunity to see the players in very difficult situations, against top international teams.

“If you make mistakes you get punished and obviously we got punished. We have players to do better, so when we start to get some training in, things will improve. But no matter how good you are you cannot put new players together and expect it to be perfect,” he pointed out.


He added the focus will be to defend as a team and not leave that responsibility on just the defensive players and he is confident they have the pieces to forged a strong defensive unit.

“When we talk about defending, it is as a team. It is not just one person or four or five. But our team defending (Cup of Nations) was not good, so we have to improve on that.

“Whatever we have, we have to use it. We are not going to find better players right now, as we are not like some countries with an abundance of players. We are not that deep as yet and that is why sometimes you have to take a step backward to move forward.

“So that is why we are looking at people to just see exactly what they have in the highest competition and how they perform.

“So it (Nations Cup) was not good and we are not pleased but going forward, we see some things that we can do better,” he said.