Kingston, Jamaica -Jamaica’s Senior Reggae Girlz assistant coach Andrew Price says the team’s participation in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games will provide essential preparation for the Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifying (CCWQ) finals to be staged in Kingston August 25-September 2.
“This will be useful preparation for the Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifying finals as it will allow the team builds camaraderie… this will be a good test for us as we play two good South American opponents, a style that is similar to the Central American way. And Costa Rica who we have played on many levels and therefore we are quite familiar and know what they are capable of.
“It is a great opportunity to get some good games under our belt prior to the start of the qualifying tournament in Kingston and it fits perfectly into our plans to prepare and we couldn’t ask for better preparation and better games, and the exposure against quality teams as it is very difficult to get practice games for our senior women’s teams, so it’s good that the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) was able to invite us to compete in this CAC tournament and it couldn’t come at a better time,” said Price.
At the CAC Games slated for Barranquilla, Colombia, Jamaica will contest Group A alongside host Colombia, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. Group B consists of Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Haiti, and Nicaragua. The top two teams from each group will move on to a semi-final knock-out phase with the winners vying for the gold medal on July 30.
Jamaica plays Venezuelan on July 19, Costa Rica on July 21 and Colombia two days later.
The Reggae Girlz - made up of local and foreign-based - have started to assemble in Kingston where they will stage a training camp starting on Thursday, July 12. They depart for Colombia on Monday, July 16.
“A good time has passed since the Haiti qualifying round which we won and we had to move on to a new phase, so we are preparing for a camp this week, and we have brought in many of the girls who have started their college pre-season work and they have come in with good condition, so it’s now just to combine the overseas-based players with the local ones and to have some common understanding in gelling together before we depart for Colombia on Monday, July 16.
“It’s really familiarization exercise (local camp) that we will be doing and to look at ways on how we are going execute during the tournament.. we will be looking at some tactical situations, we will be doing some internal scrimmaging… we believe it’s adequate time to prepare so we can go down there (Colombia) and give a good showing and make the country proud.
“The make-up of the team is a blend of youth and experience with local and overseas-based players some of whom play professionally or attend colleges, so I think we have a nice combination of players who have played through the system at different levels,” Price noted.
The final round of the CCWQ - to be contested by the five first-round group winners Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago - will qualify three Caribbean teams to the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship to be held in the USA October 4-17