Homecoming plans - Busby wants home camp to polish off World Cup preparations

October 26, 2021
Members of the Reggae Girlz squad during a training session at the National Stadium on Monday, May 13, 2019 ahead of a friendly international against Panama.
Members of the Reggae Girlz squad during a training session at the National Stadium on Monday, May 13, 2019 ahead of a friendly international against Panama.
Busby Jr
Busby Jr
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National senior women's head coach Hubert Busby Jr says that he is targeting a return to home soil for the next international window as they continue their preparations for next February's World Cup qualifiers.

The Reggae Girlz drew with Costa Rica 0-0 in their international friendly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the third match they have played this year outside of Jamaica since their return to competitive play in June.

Jamaica have not played a home game since late 2019 when they contested the first round of the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in them playing all their matches so far in the United States.

However, Busby says that he has made a home training camp for the Girlz for the November international window a top priority after a long road trip.

"The plan now is to have discussions with the federation about having a camp in Jamaica. That is our preference during the next window. We would love to bring this team back to Jamaica. We haven't been in Jamaica since (2019)." Busby said.

The Girlz have played three matches since their return to competitive play in June, defeating Nigeria 1-0 and losing to World champions the United States 4-0, with both matches played in Houston, Texas.

November was originally scheduled to be the start of the World Cup qualifiers, however, because of travel complications resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Concacaf pushed back the start of the first round to February 2022, a decision that now offers the Girlz an extra window to prepare for the tournament.

The window is of utmost importance to Busby not only because it's the last one for the calendar year but also the final opportunity to fine-tune their preparations before Jamaica take on Bermuda in their opening first-round game on February 17. He says that they will be pursuing options for a friendly in that window, but bringing the team back home to conclude their preparations will be a welcome boost for them.

"It provides us another opportunity, hopefully, next month for us to get together because there will obviously be no FIFA windows after that for us to get together for February," Busby said.

"I'm sure the people of Jamaica want to see the Girlz and we want to be there even if it's training in the (National Stadium) or Stadium East. That's what we want and that's going to be my recommendation to the federation that we can have a camp in Jamaica."

Only the Reggae Boyz have been granted approval for their home games as they are in the midst of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com

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