Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Busby wants new level for Reggae Girlz

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz walking out on to the National Stadium pitch ahead of an international.
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz walking out on to the National Stadium pitch ahead of an international.

REGGAE GIRLZ head coach Hubert Busby Jr says taking the team to the next level is his main focus in this his second stint in charge.

Busby said the standard the Reggae Girlz achieved under previous coach Lorne Donaldson, who led the team to the 2023 World Cup round of 16, is not something they can allow to regress, but something he intends to build and improve on.

“The expectation is that the bar has been raised. What the staff achieved the bar has been raised, and it is important that we do not lower that expectation,” Busby told a gathering at a press conference at the Jamaica Football Federation on Wednesday.

“Life is about progression, and it has to be us aiming for that mark. It started from there (World Cup), and that means there are standards about everything that we do.”

He continued, saying that the excellence they want to exhibit both on and off the field will start with him and translate down to the staff, players, the federation, and all those who support the programme.

“It is not just what is, but we have to collectively do to drive those standards to ensure that we get to where we want to go, which is to qualify for each and every World Cup and then progressing onto the next round,” he declared

“It is about progression and when we talk about leaving it better than where we found it, it must be that the next person who takes this on after 2027, If we hadn’t won the World Cup, they must be speaking about winning the World Cup.

“So in terms of women’s football, there is no reason why we can’t aim for that level,” he said.


He surmised that many may think he is being overambitious in his expectations, but he believes that with the right support, the goal is attainable.

“Some people may say that is a really high expectation, but if you are not going into it with the highest expectations and to do your very best then after all, what are we looking to do? What are we playing for?

“But with that said, there has to be support for everything from underneath because a house is only as strong as its foundation.”

Even though the team achieved unprecedented success under Donaldson, it has been criticised for its ultra-defensive style, and Bubsy intends to change that approach and develop a more offensive approach.

However, he insists that they will need consistent top-quality games if they are going to make that transition.

“It is really going to be about laying those principles of not what is now, but what it must looks like in 2027.

“At some point we have to start, and if we keep deferring to who we are and what we want to be, then I think we will never get there.

“So we have to start laying those playing principles again and re-establish the things that we want to do,” he said.

“Because we were in a very tough group in the World Cup, the group of death, it meant that we had to play a certain way. But to advance and take our football to the next level, it means we are also going to have to improve upon that.

“For us to want to be the provocateur in the matches and to take the games to teams means we are going to have to lay some of these principles that suit the attributes of a Jamaican player.”

He added that this could only be achieved over time and with top-class international matches while noting that they would remain active for the remainder of the year as they begin working towards achieving their targets.

“We cannot implement a whole lot of things at this time. So we will take the foundation of our defending principles and the attributes of the players and try to give them the best platform for them to be successful during these next two (upcoming friendly) games (against Brazil).

“But for where we want to go, we have to play tier-one competitions. That means we are playing teams in the top 10 of the world.

“It is the only way we will continue to test ourselves and see where we are.

“Sometimes you play games, and they may cover some of the cracks you have as a team. The only way to really find out where you are is to play the best teams in the world. And we are looking to do that now heading into the next year.”