Reggae Girl: Donaldson's resignation 'unfortunate'

January 15, 2020
Allyson Swaby (right) makes a pass ahead of teammate Marlo Sweatman (centre) and Beatriz Zaneratto Joao of Brazil during the Jamaica versus Brazil match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, on Sunday, June 9, 2019.  Brazil won 3-0.
Allyson Swaby (right) makes a pass ahead of teammate Marlo Sweatman (centre) and Beatriz Zaneratto Joao of Brazil during the Jamaica versus Brazil match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, on Sunday, June 9, 2019. Brazil won 3-0.
Coach Lorne Donaldson with Reggae Girlz Lauren Silver (centre) and Chantelle Swaby.
Coach Lorne Donaldson with Reggae Girlz Lauren Silver (centre) and Chantelle Swaby.
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Reggae Girl Allyson Swaby has described the recent resignation of national Under-20 coach Lorne Donaldson as 'unfortunate'. Veteran coach Lorne Donaldson announced his resignation from the national programme with immediate effect on Sunday in a letter addressed to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts. In his letter Donaldson said his decision was primarily based on what he called the questionable integrity and lack of professionalism within the leadership of the JFF. The former Reggae Girlz assistant coach joined former head coach Hue Menzies, who quit the programme last month.

When asked about the latest news Swaby said Donaldson will be missed. "Obviously, it's very unfortunate to lose Lorne as a member of our coaching staff. Lorne specifically spent a lot of time working with the defence so his presence will be missed for me. Lorne always made sure to find a moment for us to just relax and have fun off the field in the middle of our hectic camp schedules," the AS Roma defender explained.

That said, the American-born player said she understood the action taken by Donaldson. "We are a very close group so we will all miss Lorne tremendously but I fully support his decision to do what's best for himself and his family in this situation. Changes in coaching staff right before a tournament are less than ideal but thankfully we are still in great hands with coach (Hubert) Busby and coach (Andrew) Price," Swaby added.

The 23 year-old also reminded that her group has become accustomed to this kind of event. "This type of adversity is nothing new to us as a group, however, so I am sure that we will adjust to these changes well. Our focus and main objective of qualifying for Tokyo remain the same," Swaby stated.

Havana Solaun who recently moved from Klepp IL (Norway) to Paris FC (France) said she wasn't aware of Donaldson's resignation. "That has not been communicated to the team yet," the Jamaican midfielder told STAR Sports. Solaun scored Jamaica's first ever goal, in a 4-1 defeat by Australia, during last year's FIFA Women's World Cup in France. The JFF, through its general secretary Dalton Wint, has dismissed Donaldson's claims. In an interview with STAR Sports on Monday Wint said the JFF had as professional as can be with the former national women's coach.

- Melena Helias

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