Jamaica's Reggae Girls will kick off the Cup of Nations tournament in Australia on February 16 against one of the top women's teams in world football, Spain. They will then play two other powerhouses; the Czech Republic and Australia, respectively.

Football Australia announced today, that with the support of the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, they will host the four-nations Cup of Nations comprising three double-header matchdays in Gosford, Sydney, and Newcastle.


The six-match tournament will kick-off at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Thursday, 16 February with FIFA number seven rank Spain playing Jamaica (44th) followed by the CommBank Matildas (12th) against Czech Republic (27th).


Three days later, the tournament will shift to Sydney as Jamaica and the Czech Republic go head-to-head at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta, followed by a blockbuster clash between the CommBank Matildas and Spain on match day two on Sunday, 19 February.

Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium will play host to match day 3 of the Cup of Nations on Wednesday, February 22, where Czech Republic will take on Spain, and the CommBank Matildas will meet Jamaica in the last game of the competition.

 

The highest-placed nation following the completion of all three match days will be crowned the Cup of Nations champion on 22 February in Newcastle. 


Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said he is delighted with these opportunities for the Australian public to experience world-class football and cheer on the CommBank Matildas and their football heroes in the lead-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.


“In 2022 we have seen the drawing power of the CommBank Matildas with matches in Townsville, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Gosford, and Melbourne drawing over 109,000 spectators as we took the CommBank Matildas to different parts of Australia,” said Johnson.


“February’s Cup of Nations will build on the success of the first tournament held in 2019 and be one of the final opportunities for fans to see the CommBank Matildas on home soil before the commencement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.


“The Cup of Nations will continue to take football to regional areas with the Central Coast, Greater Sydney, and the Hunter presented an opportunity to farewell the CommBank Matildas ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as get a taste for the international football festival that awaits in 2023.

 

Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts, believes that the tournament is excellent preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2023.

"Engaging in tough games like these in World Cup venues in front of large audiences will help to prepare our team for their World Cup challenges in July. The atmosphere will be similar to what can be expected come summer, so the coaching staff will be able to assess the conditioning and mentality of the players at their disposal. We are extremely happy that Jamaica has been invited to this prestigious tournament and we anticipate some outstanding performances,"  said Ricketts.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz have been confirmed as participants in the 2023 FFA Cup of Nations in Australia from February 13-25.

The 44th ranked Girlz will battle Spain, Czech Republic and the hosts in the four-team tournament.

The teams will play a round-robin tournament where the winner will be determined by who finishes with the most points after their three games.

The event was last held in 2019 with Australia coming out on top ahead of South Korea, New Zealand and Argentina.

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz lost 2-1 to Paraguay at the Kingston’s National Stadium on Sunday in what was the second of two international friendlies. The Reggae Girlz won the first encounter against their South American opponents in Montego Bay on Thursday, November 10.

First-half goals from Celsa Sandaoval and Ramona Martinez in the 16th and 35th minutes, respectively gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half-time before Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.

Glaring errors by the Jamaica’s gifted the Paraguayans their two goals against a wasteful Jamaican team that missed several opportunities to score.

Deneisha Blackwood’s errant back pass was seized upon by Sandaoval, who beat an advancing Rebecca Spencer in the Jamaican goal before shooting into the bottom right hand corner.

The second 19 minutes later resulted in a poor pass from Havana Solaun, which gave the Paraguayan forwards to spread the ball wide before a cross found Martinez free inside the box to smash home from close range.

Head Coach Lorne Donaldson said he was not surprised by the slow start. He said he saw it coming given that the girls were not sharp during their warm-ups and it showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game.

He explained, however, that the match was not all about trying to win as there were several players that the coaching staff wanted to take a look at before finalizing the squad for the World Cup still nine months away.

“Our camp is a little bit different from Paraguay. We are still looking at stuff. We are still looking at players, so obviously we want to win but it is not going to be at all cost for this camp because we have to give some players a look, so stuff is going to be a little bit off and that was evident in the first 20 minutes,” he said.

Among the things that we “off” was the Reggae Girlz shooting. Chances fell to Drew Spence and Shaw in the first half but were either blocked missed entirely.

Spence’s 13th minute shot was parried by goalkeeper Christine Ricalde while Shaw dragged one past the far post just two minutes later.

Siobhan Wilson’s cross fell to Paige Bailey-Paige, whose shot from inside the box was charged down by a defender. Allyson Swaby also had a shot from two yards blocked by Ricalde.

Three changes made at the resumption of play resulted in Jamaica being more organized and stable defensively. Vyan Sampson replaced an ineffective Solaun and Atlanta Primus came on to replace Kayla McCoy in midfield while fullback Tiernney Wiltshire replaced Malikae Dayes.

Bailey-Gayle and Wilson were substituted for wingers Cheyna Matthews and Rachel Jones in the 59th minute, the latter making an immediate impact.

Jones’ driving run down the left flank and resulting cross led to the handled ball from which a penalty was awarded allowing Jamaica back into the game.

The changes, Donaldson said, were a direct result of the team’s inability to control the game and limit the number of turnovers, which invariably but the defence under pressure.

“If you see, when we came out in the second half there were two changes in the midfield because we couldn’t control the game, we couldn’t anything. We were passing the ball to the next team, so that’s a part of saying this would never work or this is not going to work,” he said while lamenting the poor finishing that ultimately cost the team.

“Should we have knocked some goals in, maybe we should have but such is football. To us, it’s preparation and the end product is what we are looking at.”

Donaldson said this was the last window when the coaching staff would be looking at new players. He indicated that by the next camp they should have the 30 players from which the final squad will be selected for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts is hopeful that the Reggae Girlz will make it out of the first round at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“I personally want us to go beyond the first round,” said Ricketts when speaking to SportsMax.TV.

It will be a tough task for the girls who were drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses France and Brazil as well as either Chinese Taipei, Panama, Papua New Guinea or Paraguay. They kick-off their World Cup campaign against the French in Sydney on July 23.

Jamaica will host the Paraguayans for two friendlies in Montego Bay on Thursday and Kingston on Sunday. Ricketts says these games are designed to prepare the girls for the type of opposition they will have to overcome if they are to make noise in Australia and New Zealand.

“We play two games against Paraguay. One in Montego Bay and one in Kingston. It’s a part of our preparation process,” he said.

“We just want some good results. It’s not all about winning but the coaches certainly want to establish a philosophy and a style of play that would make them competitive when they go to the World Cup,” he added.

Ricketts also said that we can expect more friendlies to be scheduled for the girls in the new year.

“We will have discussions with the coaches when we get to Montego Bay just to get an idea of exactly who they would want to play or which teams they would want to engage and then we’ll be having discussions with teams coming up for the February FIFA window.”

The Catherine Hall Sports Complex will play host to the first Paraguay friendly at 8:00pm local time while the second game kicks off at 6:00pm on Sunday at the National Stadium.

 

 

 

Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson is eager to see what the team’s new recruits and returning members will offer to the unit ahead of a pair of friendlies against Paraguay next month.

On Wednesday, the Jamaica Football Federation named a 26-player squad, which featured many of the usual suspects.  Also, among, however, was former national team captain Konya Plummer, Shania Hayles who are returning to the squad and young player Zoe Matthews.

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon for next year Donaldson remains in the process of shifting through his options to find the best team.  The return of Plummer, a solid defender who returns to the team from maternity leave and Matthews a solid new prospect should give the coach plenty to think about.

“We have a couple players coming back in like Konya and Shaina who just came back off maternity.  Shaina is far ahead of Konya, we know most likely they’ll be a part of what we are trying to do in the future, so we just brought them in to get familiar with things,” Donaldson said.

“We also have Zoe Matthews a young player, an upcoming player, a Bunny Shaw type of player. I hate to mention that but she’s built like bunny and she has that kind of ability.  So, if we can get her in the fold that would be great,” he added.

Another promising young player that has been included is Shaneil Buckley who has dominated the country’s high school football league.

 Jamaica Reggae Girls coach Lorne Donaldson has been left excited by the prospect of once again facing up to top team Brazil at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The draw, which was made in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, has seen the Jamaicans drawn in Group F where they will face France, Brazil and the winner of Group C of the inter-continental play-offs.

For the Reggae Girlz, who made history by qualifying for the World Cup for a second consecutive tournament earlier this year, facing Brazil will be a rematch of the 2019 edition where they were also pitted against each other in the first round.

On that occasion, the South Americans, who were World Cup runners up in 2007, won the match 3-0.  Four years later the Jamaicans will face a much-changed unit and will hope for a better result.

“It’s a much different Brazil team, it’s a younger team and a different coach.  Their old coach passed away but Pia (Sundhage) is a very good coach so we will have our work cut out for us,” Donaldson said of the prospect of once again facing the South Americans.

“It’s a young fast skillful Brazilian team, so we just have to be ready,” he added.

“The draw itself, we have been placed with some exciting teams that play good football, so, we have to come out and try to match them.”

The Jamaicans will play against Paraguay in two practice matches on the 10th and 12th of November,

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz now know their opponents in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after the draw on Saturday in New Zealand.

The Girlz have been drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses Brazil, France and either Taiwan, Panama, Paraguay or Papua New Guinea.

Brazil has been to nine World Cups with their best result being runners-up in 2007 while the French have been to five, most notably finishing fourth in 2011.

Jamaica will open their campaign against France on July 25 in Sydney before facing Chinese Taipei/Panama/Paraguay/Papua New Guinea on July 29 in Perth then battling Brazil on August 2 in Melbourne.

“Excitement,” was Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson’s reaction when asked about the draw.

“It was a long day of anticipating. The draw itself was a draw with some exciting teams that play good football so we have to come out and try to match them.”

Jamaica was also drawn against Brazil in the 2019 World Cup, suffering a 0-3 loss in Grenoble.

“This is a totally different Brazil side. It’s a younger team with a different coach. Obviously, we have our work cut out against a fast, skillful Brazilian team so we have to be ready.”

The technical staff of Jamaica’s Senior Women’s football team have signed one-year contracts with the Jamaica Football Federation.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz are set to play Paraguay in two international friendlies next month as they continue preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Reggae Girlz forward Tiffany Cameron has been named the Player of the Year by the Hungarian Football Federation for the 2021-22 season.

Cameron, 30, was announced as the winner at the HLSZ Gala Dinner on Monday after scoring 23 goals and providing 10 assists to help her club Ferencvarosi TC win the Noi NB I, the premier women’s league in Hungary, by 14 points.

She joined Ferencvarosi in 2020 after a season in Norway with Staebek. Cameron has also played club football in Germany, Sweden, Cyprus and the USA in her career.

The Canadian-born striker, who can also play midfield, has made twelve appearances for the Reggae Girlz, scoring five goals.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz suffered a 1-0 defeat to South Korea in a friendly international at the Hwaseong Stadium on Saturday.

In the first meeting between the teams, the fixture was settled by an early goal from Choe Yu-ri who found the back of the net in the 13th minute.  The Reggae Girlz made a few changes to the starting line-up ahead of the match, including the return of Sydney Schneider who was the team’s custodian at the last FIFA World Cup, and a debut for Siobhan Marie Wilson.

Head coach of the unit Lorne Donaldson believes that barring a bit of inefficiency the team put in a creditable performance.

“Playing with this style that we are not accustomed to, I think the first half we were very tentative and we actually gave up a goal we shouldn’t have,” Lorne said after the match.

“In the second half, it was much better.  We might have scored but that’s football.  We’ll make some adjustments the players who didn’t play in this game will play in the next game because we still have to evaluate,” he added.

“Winning is good but sometimes you just have to evaluate, look and see what you have and that’s what we are here for.”

 

Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson says the team will use its upcoming fixture against South Korea and others this year to trim down a highly competitive squad ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.  

The Jamaicans will play their first match since qualifying for the tournament two months ago when they South Korea on Saturday.  Donaldson will, however, field somewhat of a changed line-up, partly through necessity but also with half a mind on looking at potential additions to the team.

“This window going into South Korea and the next two windows is to look at some new players and give the older players that have been in the squad another chance, so they can put themselves in position for next year to be part of the World Cup squad,” Donaldson said.

“It gives us coaches a deeper squad to choose from and ensures that we do not leave any stone unturned.  So, this team going into South Korea will be the start of that, and expect the team to be very competitive.  There are a few familiar names that are missing but that’s what we want…it’s good for us to have a deeper pool of players,” he added.

Four new players have been called to Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz 23-player squad for the friendly.

Four new players have been called to Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz 23-player squad for their international friendly against South Korea at the at Hwaseong Sports Complex on September 3 and a ‘practice match on September 6.

Nineteen-year-old forward Kameron Simmonds, 17-year-old goalkeeper Liya Brooks, 28-year-old defender Sioban Wilson and defender Maliah Atkins are the new players that will be vying for spots on Jamaica’s senior women’s team that has already qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.

The call-ups add depth to a strong unit, most of which were members of the World Cup qualifying squad, even though there are a few absentees because of injury.

As part of his stated policy, Coach Lorne Donaldson will be using this opportunity and other windows this year to look at other players who were not involved in the recent World Cup qualifiers.

The full squad includes Sydney Schneider, Yazmeen Jamieson, Chantelle Swaby, Allyson Swaby, Vyan Sampson, Chinyelu Asher, Kayla McCoy, Atlanta Primus, Marlo Sweatman, Khadija Shaw, Tierney Wiltshire, Drew Spence, Mireya Grey, Trudi Carter, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiffany Cameron, Shania Hayles, Kameron Simmonds, Liya Brooks, Siobhan Wilson, Giselle Washington and Maliah Atkins.

The squad and the technical staff are scheduled to assemble in Hwaseong on August 30.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz have been booked to tackle top Asian team South Korea, in a friendly international at the Hwaseong Sports Complex, in South Korea, on September 3rd.

The match, which will be a first-ever meeting between the two teams, will also be the first for the Jamaica national team since successfully qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup last month.  The team was doing so for the second straight tournament.

South Korea, who are the number 18th ranked team in the world, will pose a stern test for the Jamaicans who recently achieved a high of 42.  The South Koreans have also put together strong performances in 2022 after finishing second at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.

With the match occurring on a FIFA International match date, both teams are expected to have their full complement of players available for selection.

Jamaica national women’s football team head coach, Lorne Donaldson, believes the country is merely scratching the surface of what is possible for its football program.

On Monday, Donaldson led from the sidelines as the Reggae Girlz secured a spot at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, following a 4-0 over Haiti. 

Three years earlier as an assistant coach, he had also celebrated as the team played their way to the tournament in France.  By virtue of defeating Haiti, the Reggae Girlz continued to break new ground and became the first Caribbean team to make back-to-back or even multiple World Cups.

Based on his assessment of the talent available to the Jamaican squads, which has been boosted by the recent recruitment of players from the diaspora, Donaldson is confident there is a lot more that Jamaican teams can accomplish.  In order to do so, he believes changes must be made to the structure of the football programs.

“Overall, I think the football structure has to change.  I won’t even say needs to change, it has to change going forward, not just for the women but for the men,” Donaldson said.

“We have this quality, for both men and women, and we can do more.  We haven’t even scratched the surface with our football talent,” he added.

 

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