Former NATIONAL senior women’s coaches Christopher Bender and Charles Edwards argue that the lack of training games for the Reggae Girlz for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which takes place in Mexico from July 4 to 18, is problematic.
Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson said in a recent interview that she was not worried and that she expects to have some games against men’s under-16 teams and women’s club teams in Colorado, where a training camp is being held. ‘two weeks’ training, before leaving for the championship.
While Edwards is a little less optimistic, he believes players already have experience playing together and having a coach who has worked with this particular group is an advantage.
“Every coach likes practice games to look at their teams and do a proper assessment and get the right system and chemistry up and running.
“But this team played about four games together and is the same team in the World Cup. So there’s a lot of familiarity and chemistry from before, ”he said.
“Lorne Donaldson, an experienced coach, seems to agree with the situation. He’s not one hundred percent right, but he says we shouldn’t worry,” Edwards reasoned.
Edwards said the two-week field for fine-tuning preparation is a very positive thing and believes Donaldson will use his experience to make up for the lack of non-international training games.
“The best thing is that we have a two-week camp and that is a big advantage. He [Donaldson] you should manage the players to get them fit and sharp.
“A game or two would have been a big advantage, but I’m very happy on the pitch. In Colorado they could get a game or two and have a high intensity workout.
“But that’s how the coach manages the situation and the things he puts in. So let’s see if we can come together enough and do enough to qualify for the next stage, ”he said.
“But we have to give our confidence to the coach and the players and gather behind them and push them as much as we can,” he added.
Bender, Jamaica’s first national coach to serve for many years, noted that the old problem is not unique to the current administration of the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF).
Like Edwards, Bender believes it is an advantage to have a coach who knows the team, but without international matches to assess performance, he said it will be extremely tough for the Girlz.
“This coach knows the players, but not having training matches will affect the team. Coaches always want more time and games for their team and to give these girls a real chance in a difficult area, a couple of matches would have been good.
“The practice of matches helps. You see and work on things in the game, like different formations and different systems with different players
“So without training games, it will be very difficult for the coach, no matter how good you are.
“The coach has to work a miracle, but we hope the team can qualify,” he said.
He pointed to similar scenarios that hinder the preparation of the under-20 boys, who currently play in Honduras, and the under-17 boys and girls, who also did not have training matches.
“Not having games brings difficulties and causes problems. So it’s a big challenge for the coach. Three to four games would have helped us a lot.
“But I am very hopeful. My heart says we can qualify, but my head tells me it will be very difficult,” he added.
Jamaica plays in Group A with the United States, receives Mexico and Haiti. The first two teams in the group advance to the semifinals and qualify for the World Cup.