We will put on a show!

Reggae Girlz vow to give fans something to cheer about in farewell match

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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JAMAICA'S Reggae Girlz are ready to bid local fans farewell with a tidy exhibition when they face Concacaf rivals Panama in a send-off match inside the National Stadium today.

Game time is 6:00 pm.

The contest, which is a repeat of last year's Concacaf Women's Championships third-place play-off, promises to be a treat with the Reggae Girlz seeking to maintain their superiority over the Panamanians, who are seeking redemption from last year's nail-biting defeat.

During that crucial game on a chilly Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas, the Jamaicans led twice, but the Central Americans rallied for a 2-2 scoreline in full and extra time. The Reggae Girlz then held their nerves to secure a 4-2 penalty win courtesy of two fine saves by substitute goaltender Nicole McClure.

Now, the conditions are different, and while the results are not all that important, the Girlz in their final dress parade will be aiming to put a smile on the faces of local fans, and by extension, the Hue Menzies-led coaching staff.

Following the game, the team will depart the island tomorrow for Miami, where they will again be in action against FC Surge after which they head to England for a May 28 friendly against Scotland, prior to arriving in France.

Menzies is hoping that this send-off match in front of Jamaican fans will give the team some momentum, as they head to the June 7-July 7 showpiece.

“The players are really looking forward to having the fans cheer them on, so we will put on a show, and hope to lay a solid platform as we head to France.

“These friendly games are not always about results, but it is important that our performance and fan support has some effect on our players, as this is part of our preparation and evaluation for the final roster,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer.

“We are not going to change much, obviously we have our style of play. they have to deal with our athleticism and our counter-attack, which is what works best for us. So we are not changing anything much, as we know what they are coming with, and we have been preparing for it,” he added.

The 23-player squad Menzies has on hand is missing a few of the regulars, namely Jody Brown, Lauren Silver and Giselle Washington from the qualifying campaign. But of note, there is the return of creative AS Roma attacker,Trudi Carter, who has been out with a knee injury since October.

National Under-20 representatives Madiya Harriott, Mireya Grey, and Chyanne Dennis, who were called in for this camp, are also capable of holding their own, and Menzies will, no doubt, throw them in the action.

“We have a different line-up here so we are looking to bring some of the players in as we try to finalise the roster for France, but as far as training is concerned, the players have been good.

“Trudi is coming off an injury so we want to see how she operates. we want to ensure we leave with a good momentum and result, so everybody will get a chance to play as we want to prep together and play as a team,” the tactician noted.

While a few of their sessions have been focused on various formations, Menzies and his assistants Lorne Donaldson and Andrew Price have not settled on a starting team and formation. Price is set to watch the game from the stands as he was handed a 10-day suspension by the Jamaica Football Federation.

However, it is likely that they will stick with the customary 4-3-3 and most of the usual starters.

Should that be the case, Sydney Schneider could start in goal, shadowed by captain Konya Plummer, Allyson Swaby with Domique Bond-Flasza and Deneisha Blackwood could occupy the right and left fullback positions, respectively.

Laura Jackson, Marlo Sweatman, and Chinyelu Asher could be appointed midfield duties, while Sashana Campbell and Shakira Duncan could partner with Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw up front.

“We are probably going to start with our usual formation and then maybe change as the game progresses, but we will see... we haven't decided on the team or formation as yet.

“Obviously Andrew [Price] normally has a presence on the bench so we are going to miss that, but our players are professionals and they understand these things happen. So we are just focused on the task of the game and will try to block out all distractions and do what we have to do,” Menzies ended.

Full Sqaud: Konya Plummer, Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Sashana 'Pete' Campbell, Toriana Patterson, Ashleigh Shim, Allyson Swaby, Nicole McClure, Dominique Bond-Flasza, Deneisha Blackwood, Chinyelu Asher, Chanel Hudson-Marks, Chantelle Swaby, Christina Chang, Laura Jackson, Sydney Schneider, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Jadyn Matthews, Shakira Duncan, Chris-Ann Chambers, Marlo Sweatman, Madiya Harriott, Mireya Grey, and Chyanne Dennis.

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