Busby Jr: Things improving between JFF, Girlz
WHILE THE relationship between the national senior women’s team and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hasn’t always been amiable, coach Hubert Busby Jr believes that progress has been made in healing the divide between the parties.
Busby Jr was named the head coach for the Olympic qualifiers in January, after the departures of Hue Menzies and Lorne Donaldson from the programme, citing irreconcilable issues with the federation.
Despite failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games, the Reggae Girlz moved one spot to 50 in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola world rankings released in March.
Busby Jr said that he has seen a greater attempt to keep dialogue open between the federation, coaches and backer, Cedella Marley.
“The lines of communication between the federation, the coaching staff, [and] Cedella Marley have improved,” Busby Jr told The Gleaner. “I think when you come out of some of the situations where I think we could all look at areas to improve, I think that’s one where I think there has been a concerted effort to improve the lines of communication, which has been good in all aspects.”
According to Busby Jr, conversations between him and JFF President Michael Ricketts have been positive in not only maintaining continuity for the senior programme, but also as it relates to plans for the team to contest international matches this year.
Busby Jr revealed that they were on the verge of confirming a friendly in Europe this month, but those plans were curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic. He did not reveal the name of the country that they were in discussions with, but said that not only were they trying to secure games against professional teams, but he was hoping for some players to be scouted by European clubs.
“In terms of the implementation of that, we were very close. We set that up to go to Europe, work with a federation there, play some professional games with some teams behind closed doors,” he said. “I have been in contact with some professional clubs and their sporting directors for them to take a look at look some of our players, so that we can get some of our kids into Europe.”
He says that they still have the intention of having the Girlz play friendlies in Europe once the health crisis subsides.
“I think the idea is to do something like that. What that looks like now in terms of travel, and what that looks like the next six to eight months, no one could say they know. Once they get back to some sort of normality, the idea is to try to figure out how to do that again,” he said.