Busby aiming to reset culture, objectives ahead of World Cup Qualifying campaign

By May 16, 2024
Reggae Girlz Head coach Hubert Busby Jr. Reggae Girlz Head coach Hubert Busby Jr.

A reset of the culture as well as objectives of the Jamaica Senior Women’s National Team or “Reggae Girlz” is of paramount importance to returning Head coach Hubert Busby Jr.

Busby Jr was rehired last week after previously serving in the role in 2021 and won’t have a lot of time to settle back into the role as his first assignment will be to navigate a pair of international friendlies with global football powerhouses Brazil on June 1 and 4.

The two teams last met at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where a 0-0 draw secured the Reggae Girlz spot as the first Caribbean nation to ever advance from the group stage at a World Cup.

The squad for these two friendlies can be looked at as a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, 18 of the members of the squad were in that history-making World Cup squad but, on the other hand, they haven’t played together since that tournament which was nine months ago.

“I think coming back in with two weeks to go, there is a lot of work to do in a short period of time and the idea that the core of this particular group hasn’t been together in nine months so there’s a lot of work that we’re doing now behind the scenes to get up to speed in terms of watching Brazil and getting the players organized,” he said in an interview with JFFLive on Wednesday.

Busby Jr then went into detail on two of his major objectives in his second stint as Head coach of the Reggae Girlz.

“More importantly, I think, some of the objectives for us is to reset the culture, reset the objectives in terms of what we’re looking to do and understand, I know it’s the most used cliché in sports, but whatever we do, we really have to stick to a process of how we look to get back to the next World Cup in 2027,” explained Busby Jr.

“This is just the first part in utilizing each and every window, making sure that, regardless of the results, we are hitting our targets of what we want to accomplish heading into the World Cup Qualifiers,” he added.

Brazil will be using these friendlies as preparation for the Olympic Games where they won consecutive silver medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

These two friendlies will also be the last home international appearances for perhaps the greatest female footballer ever, Marta, who has announced that she will retire after the Paris Games.

“This is going to be a little bit of a send-off match for them. It will also be Marta’s last game in Brazil in front of her home crowd before she retires and there’s a little bit of a revenge factor from what happened at the World Cup so we’ve got to manage all of that,” Busby Jr said.

“We’re going to have these three training sessions and prepare the team for these matches,” he ended.

 

Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to SportsMax.tv, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

Related items

  • Netherlands 0-0 France: Simons denied as spoils shared at top of Group D Netherlands 0-0 France: Simons denied as spoils shared at top of Group D

    Xavi Simons saw a potential winner controversially disallowed as the spoils were shared in a 0-0 draw between the Netherlands and France in Group D at Euro 2024.

    A VAR check led to the Dutchman's 69th-minute strike being chalked off for offside, stopping the Oranje from booking their place in the round of 16 with a game to spare.

    Antoine Griezmann squandered a host of chances for France, who struggled in front of goal with Kylian Mbappe relegated to the bench due to a broken nose.

    Both sides move onto four points, and after Austria's win over Poland earlier on Friday, it is all to play for between the top three on the final matchday, with Poland the first team to be officially eliminated from the tournament. 

    The Netherlands came flying out of the blocks, with Jeremie Frimpong forcing a fingertip save from Mike Maignan with less than a minute on the clock.

    France soon found their footing though, with Griezmann, wearing the armband in Mbappe's absence, failing to scramble it in from six yards after Adrien Rabiot's lay-off before he drilled another effort just wide of the post.

    Maignan was required again when Cody Gakpo cut inside from left before whipping a firm shot across goal, as the goalkeeper got a strong hand to it.

    Just before the half-hour mark, Marcus Thuram looked set to break the deadlock after beating the offside trap, but one-on-one with the goalkeeper, he sliced his effort over the crossbar.

    After a slow start to the second half, France rallied on the hour mark, with Aurelien Tchouameni flashing a header over before Griezmann saw another glorious opportunity smothered by Bart Verbruggen at his near post.

    Against the run of play, Simons thought he had given the Netherlands the lead by picking out the bottom-right corner after latching onto the rebound of Memphis Depay's saved shot, but Denzel Dumfries, in an offside position, was judged to be impeding the goalkeeper and the goal was ruled out after a lengthy VAR check.

    Toothless France struggle without their talisman

    All the pre-match talk centred on whether Mbappe would be fit to play after suffering a broken nose against Austria.

    The answer: he was not. Instead, he started on the bench, with Marcus Thuram tasked with playing as the main forward in his absence.

    Griezmann provided their foremost threat though, appearing in his 11th consecutive game at the Euros for France – Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (18) and Germany's Toni Kroos (13) are the only outfielders on longer such streaks for their nations.

    It was a record-equalling appearance for the stand-in captain too, his 32nd at major tournaments, the most for a French outfielder along with Lilian Thuram.

    However, the forward had four of France's five first-half shots, finishing with five overall, but failed to lead Les Bleus to a statement victory.

    Still, France's wait for a win without Mbappe in their starting lineup goes on, as they have failed to come out on top in any of their last seven such matches (four draws, three defeats).

    Netherlands smother Les Bleus

    After losing both meetings in qualifying for Euro 2024 by an aggregate score of 6-1, the Netherlands were likely not too happy to come up against Les Bleus once more.

    However, in the absence of Mbappe, who has scored six goals in five matches against the Dutch, the Netherlands were able to hold firm.

    At the Euros, the Oranje have now avoided defeat in all three of their group-stage meetings with France (2000, 2008, 2024).

    Defensively, they stood strong. Despite France having 13 shots, only three were on target as they created 1.4 expected goals (xG).

    Virgil van Dijk led by example, making the most clearances (seven) of anybody on the pitch as the Netherlands protected their clean sheet.

  • Martinez has no concerns over Ronaldo fatigue as Portugal face Turkiye test Martinez has no concerns over Ronaldo fatigue as Portugal face Turkiye test

    Roberto Martinez has no doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo's ability to play 90 minutes every few days at Euro 2024, as Portugal prepare to face Turkiye in their second game.

    Portugal opened their Group F campaign with a nervy 2-1 win over Czechia on Tuesday, with Francisco Conceicao coming off the bench to net a 92nd-minute winner.

    Ronaldo – the all-time leading scorer at the Euros with 14 goals – played all 90 minutes in the Selecao's opening match, becoming the first player to feature at six different editions of the tournament (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020 and 2024).

    He endured a frustrating outing, failing to score from five shots worth 0.73 expected goals (xG) including missing one big chance, as defined by Opta.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has seen his place in the Portugal lineup debated since he was surprisingly dropped by Fernando Santos at the 2022 World Cup.

    Martinez, however, feels the 39-year-old is more than capable of playing a full part, saying: "How many games did Cristiano play last season?

    "There is no other player who has been at six European Championships. He brings experience, he offers us chances to score and opens up spaces. 

    "We analyse the data and can see what he does. He's in the team because he deserves it. He can play every four days."

    Some in the Portuguese media have questioned whether Martinez should field another striker alongside Ronaldo, but the former Belgium boss wants his team to attack as a collective. 

    "He was the striker with the most shots on target, he was disciplined, he worked hard. He's an area player, he opens up spaces," Martinez said.

    "The important thing for us is to arrive in the area. We are not a direct team. We want to get into the final third with six or seven players. We don't need another player close to Cristiano, we need six or seven."

    Turkiye could call upon huge support at their opening match in Dortmund, as they overcame Georgia 3-1 in one of the games of the tournament to date. 

    Martinez predicts a hostile reception for his team on Sunday, saying: "We expect the stadium to be loud. Turkey had a lot of support in the stands. 

    "We also need to be ourselves, controlling the tempo and bringing width because that is what we do best. 

    "Turkey showed they can defend but their focus is always to attack. They are aggressive, they have character and attitude. There are no secrets."

  • Columbus Crew v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes looking to improve 'soft' defending Columbus Crew v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes looking to improve 'soft' defending

    Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes wants to see a better defensive display when they travel to Columbus Crew in the MLS on Saturday.

    Sporting KC sit second from bottom in the Western Conference, having won just three of their 19 games so far.

    After back-to-back losses to LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake in which they conceded four goals in both, Vermes admitted they needed to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

    "I can't deny the fight of the guys, but defensively, it's too soft," he said. "Unfortunately, it's similar to what happens in a lot of games.

    "We can be fighting back in a game and give away a nothing goal. There's a ton of chances that could put us way ahead, but we can't be giving up the goals that we give up. That's it; that's the game."

    Columbus, meanwhile, are right in the mix in the Eastern Conference, sitting sixth with 27 points.

    A 2-1 defeat to Inter Miami snapped their four-match winning streak in the MLS, but head coach Wilfried Nancy is confident they can quickly put that result behind them.

    "It has been good games, good performances," head coach Wilfried Nancy said. "[The last game] was also a good performance, but we were not good at certain moments. This is again something that we did well. We have grown a lot regarding these kinds of games."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Columbus Crew – Cucho Hernandez

    Cucho attempted 10 shots in the Crew's defeat to Inter Miami on Wednesday, his third game with at least 10 shots since making his MLS debut in July 2022.

    All other players in MLS have three total games with 10+ shots in that time (Raul Ruidiaz, Hany Mukhtar, Julian Carranza, one each).

    Sporting Kansas City – William Agada

    Agada scored two of Kansas City's three goals on Wednesday, his fifth multi-goal match for Sporting. Only five players have recorded more multi-goal games in the team's history.

    MATCH PREDICTION: COLUMBUS CREW WIN

    This will be the Crew's first regular-season home match since losing to FC Cincinnati on May 11. Columbus are winless in four straight MLS home matches after winning 12 of their previous 14 home league games.

    Kansas City have lost nine of their last 10 regular-season matches (W1), including losing six in a row on the road in league play. This is the first time in the post-shootout era (since 2000) that Sporting have lost nine times in a span of 10 such matches.

    However, Kansas City have lost just one of their last 12 matches against Columbus (W7 D4) dating back to October 2012, though three of the last four meetings have ended in draws. This will be the first meeting between the sides in Columbus in one day short of five years (June 23, 2019).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Columbus Crew – 64.2%

    Draw – 19.1%

    Sporting Kansas City – 16.7%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.