Reggae Girlz Reach New Heights But Play Waiting Game
Ex-head coaches Donaldson and Gordon are among names in the mix
The Reggae Girlz, who have hit new heights with their highest-ever FIFA ranking, are still waiting for the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to announce their permanent head coach.
Lorne Donaldson could be the favourite to land the role, having successfully taken the helm after stepping into the shoes of previous controversial coach Vin Blaine as interim head coach in June.
Donaldon, who represented Jamaica from 1975-79, assisted Hue Menzies in the Girlz making their historic FIFA World Cup qualification in 2019.
The ex-Cavalier FC player was appointed as head coach of the Girlz in 2020, but his stint was brief as he claimed the JFF showed unprofessionalism.
His interim head coach contract with the JFF expired on July 19, the day after the CONCACAF Championships concluded.
Yet there has been no concrete contract offer after the historic achievement, despite both Donaldson and JFF President Michael Ricketts expressing an interest to continue the role on a permanent basis.
Donaldson, who is a co-founder of the Black Soccer Coaches Association of America, guided the Girlz to third place at the CONCACAF Championship in Mexico last month.
The Girlz edged past the hosts 1-0, destroyed neighbours Haiti 4-0 and squeezed past Costa Rica for a shock 1-0 success. But they were outclassed by North American opposition, suffered a 3-0 defeat to Canada and were thrashed 5-0 by eventual winners and world no.1 team USA.
However, their results were good enough to secure a spot at next year’s prestigious World Cup final in Australia and New Zealand as well as earn a CONCACAF play-off place for the 2024 Olympic Games in France
The Girlz have leapfrogged over such nations as Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Nigeria to move nine places to world no.42 following their recent success.
Although this was their second third-place finish at the CONCACAF Championship, the Girlz remain fifth in the regional ranking behind the US, Canada (world no.7), Mexico (no.36) and Costa Rica (no.37).
It now seems baffling that the JFF has yet to finalise their coaching staff for both the Girlz and the Boyz, who tackle major tournaments next year.
London-based former interim head coach Paul Hall has relinquished duties with the Boyz for the forthcoming Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna (20-26 August). The former Reggae Boy is unavailable due to coaching commitments with the U23 team QPR.
Merron Gordon, assisted by Vassell Reynolds, will take charge of the Boyz against FIFA World Cup-bound Ghana, Morocco and hosts Qatar.
Gordon, who managed the Girlz for three games in 2019 with an unbeaten record, steps up from his role as assistant coach to Hall and could well be considered by the JFF as a potential new permanent head coach for the Girlz.
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