Gilbert welcomes Concacaf Women's Club Champs despite gulf in class between US, Mexico and Jamaican clubs

By March 13, 2024
GILBERT...it is more football and more exposure for our local players. GILBERT...it is more football and more exposure for our local players. file

Amidst the turmoil that has overshadowed the ongoing Jamaica Women's Premier League (JWPL), there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the seven participating clubs to chase after, as one of those clubs will be the country's representative in the inaugural Concacaf Women's Champions Cup.

This Women's Champions Cup, the region’s first official women’s continental club championship, follows the successful conclusion of the inaugural Concacaf Women's Gold Cup, which was won by United States on Sunday. The preliminary round and group stage matches of the club tournament are scheduled for August, September, and October this year, with a final four centralized semifinals and final set for May 2025.

Hailed as another strategic move in women’s football, the Women's Champions Cup will be an annual competition that will pit the best clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean against each other, and will crown a regional women’s club champion. The tournament will also be the sole path through which Concacaf region clubs can qualify for the new FIFA Women’s Club World Cup, which FIFA has committed to launching in the near future.

Well aware of the gulf in class between other leagues around the region and Jamaica's Women's League, interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert welcomed the move by Concacaf, which he believes will offer some exposure for local players.

"It's important for local football, however, I don't think any of our local teams will be able to match up with the teams from Mexico or United States. Those clubs are professional clubs playing in a fully professional leagues, while ours is nowhere close to their standard," Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

"But it is good, it is more football and more exposure for our local players. At the same time, I think it sends a signal of how important it is for us to look at what we are doing in terms of resources and surfaces for our local teams. So, it is good move by Concacaf, and I think it's for us now here in Jamaica to look at what we are doing and try to improve the quality of our league," he added.