As the sport saying goes, ‘excellent defence wins championships.’ Despite only reaching the round of 16 so far in this year’s staging of the Women’s World Cup, the Reggae Girlz have solidified that statement by only scoring a single goal and keeping three clean sheets to qualify out a strong group which included France and Brazil.
1. Defence – So the first reason why Jamaica can match any team at the 2023 World Cup is their well-organized defence. Chantelle Swaby, who is easily Jamaica’s best player at the World Cup so far, has made defending look easy as the foremost leader in the Jamaican backline.
Even though Swaby has captured the hearts of Jamaican football fans, goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer, Deneisha Blackwood, Tiernny Wiltshire, and her Sister Allyson Swaby have been nothing short of excellent and resilient in the backline for Jamaica.
2. Experience – The Reggae Girlz’s experience at the World Cup four years ago has certainly helped to enable them to overcome the daunting challenges they encountered in the group stages, which is the second reason why they can compete with any team at the World Cup.
The Jamaica Women’s National Football team also has a lot of players who are currently playing the game professionally at top football clubs in Europe, America and other places around the world. Most notably, Bunny Shaw who plays at Man City.
3. Khadijah Bunny Shaw – The third reason is talismanic striker Khadijah Bunny Shaw.
Words can hardly describe what Bunny Shaw means to women’s football in Jamaica. From helping to break down some of the stigmas attached to women’s football to playing at the highest level in women’s football, Shaw is no doubt an inspiration and a driving force behind Jamaica’s ever-growing historic accomplishments.
4. Lorne Donaldson – The fourth reason is Lorne Donaldson, the Reggae Girlz came under a lot of pressure from Jamaica football fans and administrators after news broke before the last round of qualifiers for the World Cup that the Girls wanted head coach at the time Vin Blaine replaced with Lorne Donalson.
Reggae Girlz knew what they wanted from their head coach, and so far, their decision has been proven to be correct, as the Reggae Girlz seem happy and comfortable playing under the man they requested.
5. National Anthem – The fifth reason is the Jamaican Anthem which is centred around overcoming challenges and believing in a higher power. It’s a prayer to God that possibility can instore belief into the Girlz kike no other anthem to the world cup may able to.
“Guide us with thy might hand,” are strong words and most of the girls on the team do believe this is the case or will be the case.
As the Jamaican saying goes, ‘We likkle, but we tallawah.’ In other words, Jamaicans will find a way through hurdles with belief and hard work, no matter how many they may be, and The Reggae Girlz has certainly proved this to be true so far.
It’s no secret that The Reggae Girlz has been having difficulties with their governing body Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as it relates to funding for the women’s national team, and providing some basic necessities required by the national team.
Despite all the issues facing the Reggae Girlz, their triumphant experience has pushed them to continue to make history every moment they have taken to the field in the World Cup.