Girlz need international exposure - Blaine

November 24, 2015
Vin Blaine

Former national technical director, Vin Blaine, said Jamaica's Under-17 Reggae Girlz showed character and grit to beat hosts Haiti 2-1 for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Championship on Sunday.

Blaine led the Reggae Girlz to many CFU victories in the past, and he noted that the players had very little time to know each other.

"They came against a Haiti team that was the favourite based on performance and it was really a gritty performance. Most of them (players) have never played for Jamaica before and some came in two days before the finals," he said.

A goal in each half from Shayla Smart and Jody Brown saw the Jamaicans go past their rivals and advance to the CONCACAF championship.

Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago also advanced to the competition where the top three finishers will qualify for the 2016 World Cup in Jordan.

"For them to gel in a manner that they could overcome a Haitian team that has been together means there is some character to this team, and after the disappointment of the senior team this is what the programme needed," he added.

Blaine believes if the Reggae Girlz are to have a chance of making the World Cup next year they need training camps and international exposure.

"What we lack in the past has been long-term training sessions and international games. International games will acclimatise us to situations. We need to play top teams even if it is not international teams," he said.

"If we can find a top club team in Canada or the US, we would get the same characteristics as the players you would play against, same movement, same discipline, it's just for us to get the experience to play against these girls.

"At this level we are more competitive than at the senior level, so if the coaches get these girls some games, they should be competitive, they just need more exposure.

"They came through the struggle but gave a good fight to become champions," he added.

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