Ricketts predicts more success for Reggae Girlz

Thursday, September 06, 2018

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While still applauding the senior Reggae Girlz stellar display over the past week, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts believes there could be more success on the horizon for the Hue Menzies-coached team and also their male counterparts.

Ricketts made the remarks shortly after the Reggae Girlz convincingly finished atop the recently concluded final-round Concacaf Caribbean Women's Qualifiers with maximum 12 points.

The Girlz — who scored 9-0, 4-0, 4-1 and 6-1 victories over Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba, respectively, in progressing to next month's Concacaf Women's Championships and are now one step closer to World Cup qualification.

Though the Girlz status as Caribbean Champions was expected, Ricketts pointed out that the team deserves every bit of recognition for their exceptional performances on home soil. It was the Reggae Girlz first time playing inside the National Stadium since 2006.

“We are not surprised, really, because the truth is that we would have got enough preparation coming into this, so we really expected them to do well. We played some tough opponents at the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games and we showed quality and depth.

“So I am really proud of the performance that our team showed; they were exceptional and their performance just proves that we have some quality and the results speak for themselves,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer.

The Reggae Girlz are set to contest Group B of the October 4-17 Concacaf Women's Championships in the United States alongside number-two ranked Canada, last edition's beaten finalists Costa Rica and Cuba.

Reigning seven-time champions and hosts United States will contest Group A with Mexico, Panama and Caribbean runners-up Trinidad and Tobago.

The top three teams from the championship will secure automatic qualification the next year's FIFA Women's World Cup, while the fourth-placed team will engage a home-and-away intercontinental play-off with Argentina for a chance at qualifying.

Ricketts believes the Girlz, like their male counterparts did back in 1998, have a grand chance of making a historic World Cup appearance in France next year.

“We are in a group where we really have a chance, so we are highly optimistic that we really do have a good chance of qualifying and this is something that would really be a landmark for us.

“So I am hoping that we will get the necessary support to give these girls a chance because this is a great group of players and a team with depth and quality,” Ricketts noted.

Ricketts also alluded to the Reggae Boyz chances of making another appearance in the Gold Cup.

Their Concacaf Nation's League campaign, which serves as a qualifier will kick off on against Cayman Islands on Sunday inside the National Stadium.

“I want to use this opportunity to solicit the support of all the entities, government, private sector and football loving fans to come out and give us as much support as possible as we want you to be cheering the Reggae Boyz on,” Ricketts declared.

—Sherdon Cowan

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