Jamaica U17 women eager for Costa Rica friendlies
The Jamaica U17 women’s team (pictured) took a break from training on September 22, 2017, to gather for a photo. (Photo courtesy of the Jamaica Football Federation)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – In August, Jamaica eased through the first round of Caribbean qualifying for the 2018 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship (CU17W) with a 2-0-0 record, scoring 17 goals and conceding none.

The final round will be contested next month as six sides are set to battle for three spots in next year’s confederation competition in Nicaragua.

As part of the preparation process, the Jamaicans will host Costa Rica in a pair of upcoming warm-up matches.

“Firstly, I must credit the Jamaica Football Federation for arranging these key friendlies for us against Costa Rica,” said Jamaica head coach Xavier Gilbert. “These friendlies will go a far way for us in preparing for the final round of the (Caribbean) U-17 qualifiers.

“We are also defending champions of this competition, so we hope to give a good account and then from there the CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship next year. Overall, I am looking ahead to these Costa Rica games as tests to see if we are ready.”

Gilbert has already done his research on the Central American side.

“Costa Rica have a lot of tall players,” he remarked. “They are quite physical and, more importantly, they are clinical with their chances, so we cannot afford to slip up at all. We intend to neutralize their threat and use our pace to our advantage.”

The series opener will be played on September 29 at the Jamaica Football Federation Technical Centre at the University of the West Indies, while the second match on October 1 will be at St, Georges College’s Winchester Park.

Jamaica is the only Caribbean team to qualify for each of the CU17W’s five previous editions.