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Busby Jr hails depth of Reggae Girlz squad

Published:Sunday | October 17, 2021 | 12:06 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Busby Jr
Busby Jr

While injuries have presented a less-than-ideal situation for national senior women’s Head Coach Hubert Busby Jr, he says that he is still confident with the group of players that he has assembled, as preparations continue for the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Jamaica Football Federation released a 22-member squad that has been called to a training camp ahead of their international friendly against Costa Rica on October 24 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw has been included in the squad, posied to make her international return after a 20-month hiatus.

The team also features first-time call-ups for England-based forward Paige Bailey-Gayle of Leicester City and Kalyssa van Zanten of the University of Notre Dame.

The squad will be without notable players Denisha Blackwood, Havana Solaun, Tiffany Cameron, and Dominique Bond-Flasza, who are all dealing with injuries. Additionally, Marlo Sweatman was on the list but is a late scratch because of an injury suffered in training on Thursday with her Hungarian club Haladas FC. Florida State University’s Jody Brown and Ohio State’s Peyton McNamara have not been called in because of their college commitments.

Even with some of his core players unavailable, Busby Jr says that the depth that they have developed in the player pool will be sufficient and will provide opportunities for players to fill important gaps within the set-up.

“One of the things that we have been actively trying to do is to increase our pool of players and make sure that we have a lot of depth. We still have the likes of Giselle Washington to come back (from injury). We are very confident with the overall depth of the squad. So, in lieu of these sort of injuries, we know that another play can step up and obviously perform in another player’s absence,” Busby told The Sunday Gleaner. “As a team, we have a pool of 40 players who are committed and who will step up and represent the country to the best of their ability when called upon.”

The Reggae Girlz’s qualifying timetable has been pushed back with the tournament now scheduled to begin next February instead of next month.

With the change, Busby Jr said they have been able to take a more calm approach in their squad selection for the Costa Rica friendly, with an eye on capitalising on the November window.

“The postponement allowed us to make better decisions heading into the game. Hopefully, we can have something (more) next month but, even if we don’t, it will at least provide us a better opportunity to look at these players in terms of the national team environment and see how they would fit in with the group going forward,” Busby Jr said.

Reggae Girlz squad for training camp

Sydney Schneider Washington Spirit

Chantelle Swaby Rangers FC

Jade Bailey Liverpool FC

Vyan Sampson Charlton Athletic

Konya Plummer (AIK Stockholm loan)

Chinyelu Asher Washington Spirit

Kayla McCoy Rangers FC

Atlanta Primus London City Lionesses

Khadija Shaw Manchester City

Sashana Campbell Unattached

Rebecca Spencer Tottenham Hotspur

Allyson Swaby As Roma

Tiernny Wiltshire KUPS

Drew Spence Chelsea FC

Cheyna Matthews Louisville FC

Satara Murray Bristol City FC

Yazmeen Jamieson P18 IK

Olufolasade Adamolekun University of South California

Trudi Carter FC Gintra

Kalyssa (Kiki) Van Zanten University of Notre Dame

Paige Bailey Gayle Leicester City

Logan McFadden* Lipscomb University

*Replaces Marlo Sweatman who is out because of injury