Footballer Annalecia Johnson (second proper) in dialogue with Jamaica Soccer Federation (JFF) Girls’s Committee head Elaine Walker-Brown (From left), Normal Secretary Dennis Chung and President Michael Ricketts throughout the launch of the Girls’s Premier League at JFF headquarters yesterday.Karl McLarty
FORMER nationwide ahead Rena Gordon and Annalecia Johnson are simply two gamers celebrating the return of the native Girls’s Premier League, which they view as their alternative to realize some semblance of aggressive parity the place breaking into the senior Reggae Girlz set-up is worried.
Each have been current on the Jamaica Soccer Federation’s (JFF) base for yesterday’s launch of the league which is now again on the calendar after a three-year absence as a consequence of an absence of sponsorship, amongst different issues.
Although but to verify an official title sponsor, the nation’s governing soccer physique marked the league’s return with a major allocation of $750,000 to every of the ten taking part golf equipment to help with preparation forward of the December 4 kick-off.
Moreover, the league winners will pocket $500,000 and the runners-up $300,000 and $200,000, respectively. The fourth-placed group will likely be awarded $160,000 for his or her efforts.
Gordon, who was a staple for Jamaica’s Below-17 and Below-20 groups, says having the league not solely ensures that gamers keep energetic and might proceed their growth, but it surely additionally offers them one thing to aspire to.
For her, it is a possibility to probably power her manner again into the senior set-up, after final giving the nationwide colours within the Caribbean part of Olympic Qualifiers on residence soil in 2019.
Former Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hue Menzies and his successor Lorne Donaldson have avidly advocated for the league’s return, as they persistently voiced their discontent at not having the ability to think about regionally based mostly gamers for choice.
The Girlz will likely be making their second-consecutive look on the World Cup, having debuted in 2019 in France. They face a frightening Group F alongside France and Brazil, with their different opponent to come back from February’s Intercontinental play-offs.
“It is actually good to have the league again,” Gordon, who represents Cavalier, informed the Jamaica Observe.
“We’ve got been ready some time for its return and now that we have now a possibility to play, I’m much more motivated now to work onerous and do my greatest to probably work my manner again into the nationwide group. So, it is nearly going on the market and doing what I can to make a mark and in addition assist my group to win the league,” she added.
Johnson, who will line up for St Catherine-based outfit Royal Lakes, echoed related sentiments.
“I am really excited. This will likely be my first time enjoying within the league and I can not say how completely satisfied I’m for the chance for not solely me, however for the opposite girls to showcase our skills and specific ourselves by soccer, “Johnson shared.
“We have all seen what the Reggae Girlz have accomplished and so I’m certain others like myself are hoping to make a superb impression and probably get invited to the nationwide group,” the 18-year-old St Jago alumna informed the Observe.
Together with Cavalier and Royal Lakes, Fraszier’s Whip, Olympic Gardens, Rangers and Actual Mobay will likely be joined by new groups Baptiste, out of St Thomas; Springers United, located in St James; Clarendon-based Vere United; and Manchester’s Mile Gully.
Notable absentees are many-time champions Barbican and Waterhouse.
The league, which is predicted to final six months in line with Fifa necessities, will see groups enjoying residence and away fixtures at choose venues main into the quarter-finals and semi-finals, which may also be two-way fixtures. The ultimate is about to be contested in Could 2023.
Groups may also contest a knockout competitors scheduled for a February 18 begin.
JFF President Michael Ricketts defined that plans are additionally in place to host a Tier Two competitors to get extra feminine gamers concerned.
“We’re on the verge of signing a contract with a title sponsor so hopefully that will likely be accomplished in one other few days and that may fortify the competitors. We’re very excited on the prospects of girls’s soccer; that is the premier competitors and there’s additionally a Tier Two competitors that we need to begin on the finish of February.
“Some younger gamers will likely be showcasing their expertise with the expectation of creating the [Reggae Girlz] squad, and we need to encourage gamers to take action. We do not need soccer to only be soccer – we need to influence our nation. And we’d have produced gamers reminiscent of Khadija Shaw, Jody Brown, Trudi Carter and others, and we need to make sure that’s what our packages are all about,” stated Ricketts.
In the meantime, Elaine Walker-Brown, the JFF’s head of girls’s soccer, additionally expressed delight in regards to the league’s return, pointing to the platform it offers for native gamers.
“With the Reggae Girlz being the place they’re at I’m simply completely satisfied that we can provide the youthful gamers which have seen them and have been impressed by them, the chance to be part of girls’s soccer historical past once more. They’re extra impressed now and so I cannot be stunned if one or two of our native gamers take any individual’s spot going to the World Cup,” Walker-Brown opined.
Taking part groups: