Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Vin Blaine has confirmed his resignation from his position as head coach of the Jamaica Senior Women’s Football Team.

The former Harbour View head coach took the decision to walk away after 19 Reggae Girlz squad members signed a letter to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts asking that he be replaced.

“The Jamaica Football Federation would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation for the work that coach Vin Blaine has done with the Senior Women’s National Team. Unfortunately, he has decided against taking the team to the next level. We hoped that the relationship shared with the Federation would not end this abruptly, but we appreciate his take on the situation at hand. The JFF wishes him all the very best for the future,” the JFF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Blaine coached the Reggae Girlz at all levels for more than a decade before becoming director of football for the JFF from 2014 to 2017.

He took up Grenada's post of Technical Director in 2017 then had a brief stint as US Virgin Islands coach before his reappointment as Reggae Girlz head coach in December.

He was unbeaten in his four matches as coach and led the Reggae Girlz to four straight victories in Group C of the Concacaf Women's Championship qualifying.

The Reggae Girlz next assignment will be the final round of the Concacaf Women’s Championship beginning on June 4th in Mexico.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Board has accepted the recommendation of the JFF Technical and Development Committee to retain the Technical Staff of the Senior Women’s National Team including Head Coach Vin Blaine.

In its report, subsequent to an initial investigation into concerns expressed by team members, the committee cited there was insufficient evidence to warrant any such change in personnel at this time. 

According to the report, it’s in the best interest of the JFF to continue on its present course, with the current coaching staff, where the progress will be closely monitored and evaluated periodically.

Further, based on the results so far and with less than two months before the Concacaf Women’s qualifying tournament gets underway in Mexico, it is felt that introducing changes at this time would not be prudent. 

Towards this end, the JFF has the full confidence in the Coaching Staff and the team members but recognizes the need to share in and support the process with some critical Core Values of the organisation, including professionalism, teamwork and respect.

The JFF pledges, as the body responsible for football in Jamaica, to put everything in place, within its powers, to ensure the team is comfortable and can perform at their optimum to achieve Jamaica’s second consecutive qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz will compete in Group A of the final round of the Concacaf Women’s Championship alongside the USA, Mexico and Haiti beginning in June 4.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will be looking to secure qualification for the final round of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship when they tackle the Dominican Republic in their final group game at Sabina Park in Kingston on Tuesday.

Following their 9-0 victory over the Cayman Islands on Saturday, April 9, the Reggae Girlz currently sit atop Group C with nine points from their three games with a goal difference of 18 while their opponents also have a perfect three wins from their three games but find themselves second in the group with a goal difference of 14. With only the winner of the group set to advance, Jamaica will only have to avoid defeat.

However, Head Coach Vin Blaine is not planning on anything but victory.

“The girls are focused and ready. There are no injury concerns,” said Blaine said in a pre-match press conference on Monday while outlining what his team has to do to emerge victoriously.

“Dom Rep have never faced any player like our top five attackers since they’ve been playing so that’s an advantage for us," he said.

"Defensively, we stay compact and stay disciplined. In the Cayman game, we got complacent because we were winning by so many goals. That can’t happen against Dom Rep. We have to ensure that we stay disciplined for the whole 90 minutes.

"We go into every game trying to win. The mentality of the girls is to win the game. I know our team is a superior team to Dom Rep. They play well but individual player to player, we are a better team so for me to sit back trying to get a draw would almost be like inviting them to score. I think they have to worry about our attack.”

Should the Reggae Girlz avoid defeat on Tuesday, they will advance to the final phase of the CONCACAF Women’s Tournament which will take place from June 4-18 in Mexico.

That phase of the championship will involve eight teams, The USA, Canada and the six group winners from the qualifying tournament and determine the region’s representatives in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Reggae Girlz Head Coach Vin Blaine is to name his squad on Thursday that is to face Bermuda in the preliminary rounds of the Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifier on February 17 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

 Match time is 7:00 pm.

 Jamaica will have to win Group C which comprises Bermuda, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands to advance to the next round of qualifiers.

 Following the Bermuda match on February 17, Jamaica will travel to face Grenada on February 20. The remaining games against the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands will be played in April.

 The top finisher in each group will advance to the Concacaf W Championship joining the top-ranked CONCACAF nations, the USA and Canada – that have each received a bye straight to the W Championship which takes place in July 2022.

 The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has received approval to accommodate up to 2500 fully vaccinated fans in the Grand Stand of the National Stadium.

 Interested fans will have to be validated by the government’s electronic system which will open soon. Following the validation process, fans will be able to purchase tickets for J$3000.

 Those fans who were already validated by the system can simply enter and purchase a ticket.

Below are the respective groups for CONCACAF qualifiers.

Group A: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla
Group B: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and Curacao
Group C: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Grenada and Cayman Islands
Group D: Panama, El Salvador, Barbados, Belize and Aruba
Group E: Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands
Group F: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and Turks and Caicos Islands

New Reggae Girlz Interim Coach Vin Blaine says defence must be the focus to bridge the gap between his team and the better teams in the CONCACAF region.

Speaking at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Blaine was critical of the team’s defensive organization under the previous coaching staff.

“It’s a concern of mine, from I’ve been watching the team. What I’ve recognized is that defensively, we don’t have bad players but our organization was poor. If I was to criticize the past coaching staff, I would say our girls weren’t playing defensively well. That’s the area I want to sure up first,” said Blaine.

When asked about the fact that the Reggae Girlz have not fared well against the top teams, Blaine said that had more to do with team rotation rather than an inability to compete.

“The team that played against Costa Rica recently; they have not played against the USA, really, because what the coaching staff was doing before, was an assessment of the players, so you found that in the US game, he had a different squad, in the Nigeria game he had a different squad and in the Costa Rica game he had a different squad,” Blaine said.

He was referring to three friendlies the team played against Nigeria, Costa Rica and the USA. In those games, Jamaica won 1-0 against Nigeria, lost 4-0 to the USA and played to a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica. Blaine said the team should not be judged on those recent performances.

“It’s hard to judge how these present girls that have come from the USA and are playing professionally would have matched up,” said Blaine.

“It’s hard to say they did badly because in the past we played a Costa Rica team and I think we got something like 11-0 way back when. They’re still competitive.”

The Reggae Girlz will begin the first round of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on February 17, 2022, against Bermuda.

They are in Group C alongside Grenada, The Dominican Republic, The Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The tournament also serves as qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 - August 20.

The Reggae Girlz are looking to qualify for their second straight FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Veteran coach Vin Blaine has been appointed interim head coach of Jamaica’s Women’s senior team.

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