Girlz Head coach Gilbert welcomes two-match friendly against Chile

By February 08, 2024
GILBERT...we get to expose some of the young talent that we have to offer to top level competition GILBERT...we get to expose some of the young talent that we have to offer to top level competition

With members of last year’s senior Reggae Girlz FIFA World Cup squad and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) still yet to amicably agree on the way forward, interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert has once again pooled a fairly inexperienced team for a two-match friendly against Chile later this month.

Gilbert, who welcomed the fixtures, and his Reggae Girlz is expected to assemble in the South American country on February 21, ahead the two games scheduled for February 23 and 27.

“It is always important to utilize the FIFA windows so getting these games is a good move from the JFF and, of course, we get to expose some of the young talent that we have to offer to top level competition so they can gain the necessary experience that will be required as we look ahead,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

The 22-player squad comprises mostly players that contested last year’s Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers, with former Liverpool midfielder Jade Bailey, who recently signed with London City Lionesses, making a return to the national setup following a knee surgery, while National Under-17 representative Naya Cardoza, makes her transition to the senior team.

“It is very good to have Jade back she is a very good player who was out for quite some time, so it is good to have her back in the fold giving her level of experience and we expect her to be one of the leaders in the team where guiding the younger players is concerned,” Gilbert noted.

This will be the second two-match friendly series between the two teams following their 2019 meeting in Jamaica, which the Reggae Girlz won 1-0 and 3-2. However, Chile came away 6-0 winners in their most recent meeting at last year’s Pan American Games.

“We are expecting another good game from Chile, obviously they are a pretty good team with a lot to offer. It is never comfortable going into another team’s base to play, so we just have to go there and give of our best, because like I said, these games are important for players to not only gain experience, but also to develop some semblance of cohesion going forward,” Gilbert reasoned.

Squad: Theanna Burnett (Sacred Heart University), Serena Mensa (Fordham University), Malikae Dayes (AAB, Denmark), Zoe Vidaurre (George Mason University), Nevillegail Able (University of Maine, Fort Kent), Chinyelu Asher (SCU Torreense), Alika Keene (SK Slavia Praha Zeny), Ricshya Walker (LaSalle University), Marlo Sweatman (Viktoria Haladas), Christina Salmon (William Carey University), Davia Richards Player (Hill College),Mikayla Dayes (Rodez AF, France), Shaneil Buckley (Excelsior High), Melissa Johnson (Charlton Athletic Women FC), Aliyah Morgan (George Mason University), Jade Bailey (London City Lionessess), Destiny Powell (Excelsior High), Lachante Paul (Burnley FC), Isreala Groves (London City Lionesses), Naya Cardoza (Brown University), Njeri Butts (University Of Florida), Sydnie Street (Seneca College)

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Related items

  • Let’s protect the players – Mikel Arteta criticises scheduling after Arsenal win Let’s protect the players – Mikel Arteta criticises scheduling after Arsenal win

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta stood in unison with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola in condemning the fixture schedule.

    Guardiola said it was “unacceptable” that his side had to play an FA Cup semi-final less than 72 hours after being in action in the Champions League on Wednesday night as they beat Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday tea-time.

    The Gunners’ plight was arguably worse as they were also in Europe on Wednesday night but had to travel back from Germany on Thursday following their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich.

    They made light of that quick turnaround as they beat Wolves 2-0 on Saturday to go back to the top of the Premier League before they play again on Tuesday night against Chelsea.

    “It’s not about us, Pep or myself, it’s about the well-being of the players,” Arteta said after Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard goals sent his side one point above City.

    “Especially when you are competing in European competition, everything has to be competed in the same way.

    “You cannot have a team that hasn’t played for seven days or three days before and has more recovery time and you have to play in the Premier League or the FA Cup.

    “It is not right. If you look at it any angle it’s not right. If you want to protect and you always talk about the players and the protagonists, let’s protect them and think about them and do everything we can to give them the maximum time so they can recover and they can maintain the show they put on every week.

    “We stayed in Munich, I think we had two hours sleep, wake up and we started to talk about Wolves first of all and then understand what we had to do to win the game.

    “The boys were unbelievable. You look at the amount of games we have played in the last few weeks, the type of games we have played and the attitude and the way they have run today is top.”

    It was a good recovery from the Gunners after a horror week where their title hopes were damaged by a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa last week before their Champions League exit in Munich.

    But they could be four points clear of City by the time Guardiola’s side next play as they try to wrestle control of a thrilling title race.

    Arteta added: “It was really good, I really liked the performance, the result, the clean sheet but also the way individually and a team they showed they still have a step forward to make.

    “We realised we want to be involved in big competitions, fighting for the Champions League, fighting for the Premier League, the level it requires, we have to do something special. You have to have that love to compete.”

    Wolves battled hard but are crippled by injuries, with the majority of their key attacking players sidelined.

    They are now six games without a win, but boss Gary O’Neil was proud.

    “I thought it was an incredible performance, it exceeded my expectation of what we were able to produce today,” he said.

    “We didn’t deserve to lose 2-0, losing 1-0 and not quite being able to break them down is probably as bad as it should have been for us.

    “We came up just short against one of the best teams in world football so there’s no disgrace in that.”

  • Virgil van Dijk still believes Liverpool can win title race Virgil van Dijk still believes Liverpool can win title race

    Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk insists “anything is possible” as the Reds seek to overhaul Manchester City and Arsenal in what could be a thrilling season finale.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side dropped to third last weekend after defeat to Crystal Palace and the initiative is now with their rivals.

    However, Van Dijk remains optimistic about their chances over the final six games.

     

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk)

     

    “Big six. Anything is still possible. We have to give it everything and we will give it everything,” said the Netherlands captain.

    “We have to focus on each game as they come.”

    A Europa League exit to Atalanta in midweek was another blow to confidence but Van Dijk does not see the point in dwelling on past results.

    “We have all the reasons to be disappointed. But it’s our own fault,” he added.

    “It’s not one factor, it’s multiple. We’re all human beings, we all want to do well, keep clean sheets and score goals.

    “But we are where we are and the situation is what it is. When the games don’t go well – obviously didn’t happen many times this season – we all have to switch it back on.

    “We have to focus on ourselves like we always have been doing and that never changes.”

  • Harry Kane hits 40-goal landmark as Bayern Munich storm to victory Harry Kane hits 40-goal landmark as Bayern Munich storm to victory

    Harry Kane scored his 40th Bayern Munich goal of the season in a 5-1 Bundesliga thumping of Union Berlin.

    After reaching the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, Bayern took a step towards securing second place in the league with an emphatic victory.

    Leon Goretzka opened the scoring and Kane curled in a free-kick just before half-time to take his league-leading tally to 33.

    Thomas Muller scored twice in the second half, either side of a goal from Mathys Tel, with Union limited to a late consolation effort from Yorbe Vertessen.

    Fourth-placed RB Leipzig needed a late winner from Lois Openda to claim a 2-1 victory at Heidenheim.

    Benjamin Sesko put the visitors ahead late in the first half but Nikola Dovedan levelled before Openda secured the points five minutes from time.

    Robin Hack’s hat-trick was not enough to prevent Borussia Monchengladbach from falling to a 4-3 defeat at Hoffenheim.

    Hack thought he had earned a point for the visitors when he scored twice late on after Hoffenheim had taken a 3-1 lead with goals from Wout Weghorst, Grischa Promel and Ozan Kabak.

    But Anton Stach found the winner for the home side in the first minute of injury time.

    Koln’s hopes of survival were dealt a major blow by a 2-0 loss to bottom side Darmstadt, who appear doomed to relegation, while Bochum remain in trouble after a 1-0 loss to Wolfsburg.

    Girona’s 4-1 victory over relegation-threatened Cadiz in LaLiga ensured they will be playing European football next season.

    Early goals from Eric Garcia and Ivan Martin set the tone, with Artem Dovbyk and Portu making sure of the points in the second half.

    Real Betis boosted their hopes of joining Girona with a 2-1 victory away at Valencia.

    Ayoze Perez scored twice for the visitors – who sit eighth, two points behind Real Sociedad – either side of a Pepelu penalty.

    Celta Vigo went behind at home to Las Palmas but responded brilliantly to claim a 4-1 victory that lifts them six points clear of the bottom three.

    Juanma Herzog opened the scoring but Iago Aspas netted twice for Celta along with one each from Williot Swedberg and Anastasios Douvikas.

    Rayo Vallecano also eased their relegation fears, Pep Chavarria and Isi Palazon scoring in the final 10 minutes in a 2-1 win over Osasuna.

    In Serie A, struggling Empoli stunned defending champions Napoli 1-0, Alberto Cerri scoring the only goal in the fourth minute.

    The big match at the bottom had a dramatic finish as Diego Coppola struck in injury time to earn Verona a 1-0 win over Udinese.

    Rennes kept alive their hopes of sneaking into the European places in Ligue 1 by beating lowly Nantes 3-0 but they remain four points behind Lens, who defeated bottom side Clermont 1-0 thanks to an early penalty from Florian Sotoca.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.