Reggae Girlz end year at 65

December 28, 2016
Gilbert

Two years after emerging from a six-year hiatus, Jamaica's female football team has climbed to number 65 in the world.

The Reggae Girlz will end 2016 as the sixth-ranked in CONCACAF and number two in the Caribbean based on the final FIFA-Coca Cola women's football rankings.

Veteran national women's coach Xavier Gilbert believes they have done well since returning from their long lay-off, but says there is still a lot of hard work to be done.

"The programme has been back for about two years and after being out for so long, I don't think a ranking of 65 is bad," Gilbert told STAR Sports.

more exposure

"We are probably the only Caribbean women's team that has consistently been to all CONCACAF women's tournaments, especially the junior ones, so it shows that we have talent, and with more exposure and international games, we can achieve our optimal best ... It is just a matter of time," he reasoned.

Financial constraints continue to be a major obstacle to the girls' development.

"We have limited resources. If we can get corporate sponsors to assist, we can break into the World Cup," he said.

For 2017, Gilbert says the main objective is to lift the level of the team.

"The senior, Under-17 and Under-20 girls will be in competition for 2017, so, hopefully, we will put things together, but we must try to improve and, hopefully, with some added resources, we can take it a step further," he added.