Gilbert to rely on team bonding
Head coach of Jamaica Women's Under-20 football team Xavier Gilbert is confident that his side can advance to the final round of the CONCACAF Caribbean Zone qualifiers.
The team is scheduled to depart this morning for the Under-20 qualifiers in Bermuda from July 19 to 23. Jamaica will participate in Group B, playing against hosts Bermuda on July 19, then facing off against Curacao on July 21. They will close group play against St Lucia on July 23. All games will be at the Bermuda National Sports Centre.
The winners of the three groups will advance to the final round later this year.
"We are prepared for this level of competition, but we are not disregarding the other teams in the group," Gilbert told The Gleaner yesterday ahead of their departure.
"We had a training camp in Florida last February, and local camps after, for most of the time leading to the qualifiers in Bermuda. Team bonding is essential," he added.
"I'm pretty confident in the team's ability to progress. It is tricky, as only the winner will advance. We don't know much about the opponents, as it is difficult to get information," Gilbert confessed.
Gilbert pointed out that the 20-member squad includes two newcomers to the national programme. They are Jadyn Matthews and Milan Dewkinandan. Eleven overseas-based players are in the team.
The Caribbean stage serves as qualification to the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championships.
The full squad reads: Marlee Fray, Ebony Clarke, Sydney Schneider, Emily Caza, Kahdian Wright-Brown, Alyssa Julien, Erin Mikalsen, Giselle Washington, Gabrielle Gayle, Jessica Johnson, Jody Brown, Kevena Reid, Tarania Clarke, Tateyana Pitter, Sashine Smith, Sherice Clarke, Jadyn Matthews, Milan Dewkinandan, Lyana Steele and Peterkaye Green.
The official party includes Garfield Fuller (head of delegation), Xavier Gilbert (head coach), Davion Ferguson (assistant coach), Janine Mundell (team manager), Dr Gillian Lawrence (team doctor), Jelisa Williams (physiotherapist) and Omar Folkes (equipment manager).