Menzies remains upbeat despite Girlz travel woes

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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GLASGOW, Scotland — Jamaica's Head Coach Hue Menzies views the current travel obstacles faced by his Reggae Girlz team as another important test of their character, and one which they are expected to overcome like the resilient group they are.

Menzies and members of his team were yet to arrive here in this nothern United Kingdom country at the time of filing, but most of the team was expected to arrive in two groups late last night.

The final group, including Menzies and assistant Lorne Donaldson, captain Konya Plummer, Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, Jody Brown, and physical trainer Jason “Buju” Henry, was expected to depart Miami yesterday.

Midfielder Havana Solaun, travelling from Norway, is expected to arrive today.

Still, Menzies is hoping that they will be able to get the team ready in time for Tuesday's friendly assignment against Scotland.

“As it stands right now we just have to wait and see when everyone gets into Scotland to evaluate the effects of the travel. One thing is for certain — we will overcome this adversity, as we always do, because they bring us closer,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer via telephone.

“We are looking forward to the game which is important to have as another test close to the Fifa Women's World Cup — so we look forward to putting all this behind us and put our best foot forward,” he added.

After that friendly the Reggae Girlz team will then fly to London for another obligation, after which they will head to Lyon, France, for a final squad camp before making their maiden appearance at the June 7-July 7 World Cup.

The 53rd ranked Jamaicans have been drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Brazil and Italy, all ranked in the top 20, for the global showpiece where they will be hunting one of the top two spots from the group.

Jamaica's campaign will begin on June 9 when they face Brazil at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble. They will then travel to Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims on June 14 for a battle with Italy, before concluding the group phase on June 18 against top-ranked Australia in Grenoble.

Following the group stages the top two teams will automatically progress to the Round of 16, where they will be joined by the four best third-placed teams. From there, teams will then progress to the quarter-finals to battle for semi-final berths.

The final of the Women's World Cup is scheduled for July 7 at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Meanwhile, the governing Jamaica Football Federation, through a press release yesterday, sought to allay concerns with the difficult travel situation.

“The Jamaica Football Federation wishes to reassure the nation that thirty-three members of a thirty-nine delegation to Scotland will arrive there at 5:35 pm Jamaica time today (yesterday). This will include nineteen of the twenty-three players in the delegation. The remaining number of the delegation will arrive there by 5:15 am Jamaica time on Sunday today,” the release said..

“Challenges experienced with the itinerary for the delegation were due solely to the availability of the total number of seats available at the time of making the reservations. The itinerary utilised was done in an effort to keep the entire travelling group together,” the statement went on.




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