Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Gilbert unaware of plans to replace Reggae Girlz coach

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2023 | 12:10 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica head coach Lorne Donaldson.
Jamaica head coach Lorne Donaldson.
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REGGAE GIRLZ assistant coach Xavier Gilbert insists that he has not been approached to take over the reins of the Reggae Girlz from Lorne Donaldson.

Donaldson is now out of contract following the team’s Olympic play-off qualifier against Canada, and speculation has been rife that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will not renew the contract of the nation’s most successful coach and will hire Xavier Gilbert as his replacement.

However, Gilbert insists he has no knowledge of those plans.

“No. I don’t know about that,” Gilbert denied bluntly.

“All I can say is that the coaching staff is out of contract from Friday. We don’t know if we will be retained and we don’t know if there will be a different coaching staff.”

The Reggae Girlz’ next assignment will be the Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers, which take centrestage starting late next month.

Although Gilbert would not declare an interest in taking over women’s football’s top coaching job, he is confident that whoever takes charge will have a very competent squad at their disposal.

“They are good players, so they should do well. But I cannot speak much about it. We will have to see how it goes,” said Gilbert, who went on to show support for Donaldson’s time at the helm.

“The team continues to learn and it would be good if the staff is retained, but we don’t know if we will be retained,” he said.

Gilbert is the current coach of Jamaica Premier League (JPL) team Arnett Gardens. However, the greater part of his coaching experience has come through women’s football.

He has coached national youth teams at all levels for more than 15 years and has won the schoolgirls’ league and local women’s league on numerous occasions.

His local teams, Excelsior High School and Frasziers Whip, are the current schoolgirl football and women’s premier league champions, respectively.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com