Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will enter the eight-nation CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying (WOQ) tournament at month end with a temporary coach in Hubert Busby Jr.
When the Girlz kick off in their first match on Jan. 29 in Edinburgh, Texas, against Mexico it will mark the beginning of a Jamaica Football Federation assessment period for Busby, who has been given until the tournament end on Feb. 09 to prove his suitability for the job as permanent head coach for the female national team.
Jamaica catapulted into this Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football tournament following a sterling performance by playing undefeated in a pre-qualification competition in 2018 among 16 Caribbean teams and in the process handing out several defeats by large goal differences.
Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis joined Jamaica in qualifying for the WOQ out of which the top two teams will go to the Tokyo Olympics. These Caribbean teams will take on Central American and North American sides in their quest for a place at the summer games.
But since the Girlz blazed their way into this tournament they were beset by a several issues, largest of all being a stabbing incident that took the life of star mid-fielder, Tarania ‘Plum Plum’ Clarke. Then there were pay disputes that caused the Girlz to threaten not to play; and another that saw departure of head coach Hue Menzies, who had led them to their first World Cup in France last year.
This resulted in move up of Busby, a former Jamaica goalkeeper, from assistant coach to temporary coach.
JFF General Secretary, Dalton Wint reportedly said, “Mr. Busby has been an integral member of the senior coaching staff for the women and his appointment is just a promotion and elevation to the head coach position and we are expecting him to do a very good job.”
Haiti’s girls will be the first Caribbean team to play when they take on the USA on Jan. 28. St. Kitts will be playing Canada on the Jan. 29 evening that Jamaica takes on Mexico.
Other teams on the tournament are Costa Rica and Panama.