Reggae Girlz coach continues to laud NextPlay inititiative

By concacaf July 13, 2019
Some 85 children under 11 years old – 40 of them from four Caribbean territories and the others from the surrounding Chicago area participated in the Next Play event that concluded at the Chicago´s Union Station on July 7, 2019. Some 85 children under 11 years old – 40 of them from four Caribbean territories and the others from the surrounding Chicago area participated in the Next Play event that concluded at the Chicago´s Union Station on July 7, 2019. Courtesy of CONCACAF

Jamaica’s Senior Women’s head coach Hue Menzies says Saturday’s Scotiabank NextPlay festival at CIBC Fire Pitch was a telling display of the unifying power of football.
Some 85 children under 11 years old – 40 of them from four Caribbean territories and the others from the surrounding Chicago area – intertwined in a confluence of cultures with football the bonding agent.
The children from Jamaica, The Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago were the winners of their respective Scotiabank NextPlay Cup tournaments played among primary schools.
As part of their prize, they were flown to Chicago to integrate and to also immerse themselves into the Gold Cup experience, which is another initiative in the continued build-out of the NextPlay platform.
On Saturday at CIBC Fire Pitch, the kids from diverse backgrounds took part in various fun activities but were ultimately united by the power of football.
At the end of the day’s activities, total strangers had formed bonds, some of them taking the first steps to even becoming friends down the road.
Menzies, Concacaf’s Female Football Coach of the Year, says the game has a language of its own and had the moving force to break down barriers as it relates to race, class, and creed.
 “Football does not discriminate, which is very good. Here you have different creeds, different colors, and different socio-economical backgrounds, but NextPlay exemplifies here a unifying of the different cultures and I hope Concacaf and Scotiabank will sustain this program throughout the Caribbean,” he said.
 “Football is a common language as it does not matter where you are from it just evolves and the values of football don’t change, so it’s easy to bring people together and we need to take advantage of the game to make the environment better,” Menzies added.
As a special guest at Saturday’s event, the USA-based Jamaican coach said he used the opportunity to speak to as many kids as he could, urging them to make the best of the opportunities that have come their way through the NextPlay Program.
“I told the kids that everybody is not going to go on to be professional players.  "But they must listen and learn and take the qualities they get out of football as it is an avenue and vehicle for the rest of their lives because the things they learn here no one can take away and they just need to apply that in life,” Menzies noted.
 Meanwhile, Concacaf’s Director of Football Jason Roberts says while it was pleasing to see kids from varied backgrounds coming together on Saturday, that manifestation addresses another critical aspect of the NextPlay portfolio.
“It speaks to the integration of the program with boys and girls of different ages interacting… and then you get that interaction from the kids from the Caribbean, who have been a part of the NextPlay program. 
“Today (Saturday) It started as the kids being a little stand-offish, but by the end of it, through football, through interaction of playing and being teammates, you see the bonds start to develop between kids from different sides of the world with various issues, but what we find is that football is that singular thing that brings them together.
“I think as proud as we are at Concacaf in putting football first, our competitions, how we are developing football, I think we are equally proud how we are using football as a vehicle for social change,” Roberts ended.
Also attending Saturday’s event were Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio, Scotiabank’s Director of International Sponsorship Nelson Lanza, Executive Director of Chicago Sports Commission Kara Bachman and Chicago Park District Deputy Chief Program Officer Timothy O’Connell.

Related items

  • Neymar leaving PSG not possible without replacement, says Tuchel Neymar leaving PSG not possible without replacement, says Tuchel

    Thomas Tuchel admitted Paris Saint-Germain missed Neymar in their shock defeat to Rennes and ruled out an exit for the Brazil star unless an adequate replacement is brought in.

    Neymar's prolonged absence from the PSG squad continued on Sunday as the Ligue 1 champions fell to a 2-1 loss at Rennes in their first away outing of the new campaign.

    The 27-year-old Neymar has been recovering from an ankle injury that has ruled him out of action since early June, while questions remain over his future amid strong links with Real Madrid and former club Barcelona.

    After seeing his side struggle for creativity at Roazhon Park, however, head coach Tuchel stood firm on his stance that PSG must keep hold of the player.

    "He will not leave without recruitment, it is not possible," Tuchel said at his post-match news conference. "It's clear - if he stays, we will have a player who will help us win. 

    "We lacked capacity for acceleration. There were small situations where space opened but we were not decisive."

    Tuchel told Canal +: "I always say the same thing, the transfer window is open even more than 10 days and you think it will be settled tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?

    "What I think is not important. Today my player cannot play because he has not done any training like the others. This is the situation, and nothing has changed."

    Edinson Cavani was gifted a 36th-minute goal by Rennes following an error from Damien Da Silva, but PSG managed just one further shot on target and were made to pay by the side that also beat them in April's Coupe de France final.

    Goals either side of half-time from M'Baye Niang and Romain Del Castillo handed Rennes all three points, but Tuchel downplayed the magnitude of the defeat so early in the season.

    "It was a difficult match, but we expected it," he said. "We do not have everyone available. Some players only participated in two weeks of training. 

    "These situations are normal in August. We are not at our best. Against a physical team like Rennes, who gives everything, whose players run like crazy, in a match in prime time, it's normal that it was complicated for us. 

    "We scored the first goal, we controlled the match and made mistakes. We had to close the match after the first goal. We were not able to do it. 

    "We conceded a goal with a two against one in the area. We got very close to the Rennes area, but we lacked tenacity to win against some offensive. 

    "In these conditions, it was difficult to create opportunities. We can lose a match like that, but we could win it too."

    Despite a run of five away defeats in six league matches stretching into last season, Tuchel insisted he does not fear the sack and called for some patience.

    "I'm a very happy man," he said. "There is no one who is putting more pressure on myself than me. It's the same for every coach."

    "We can play better than today. Things are not easy - everyone has improved in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. It's time to be patient and to keep your confidence. We cannot question everything after a bad result."

  • Who is Eduardo Camavinga? The Rennes teenager taking Ligue 1 by storm Who is Eduardo Camavinga? The Rennes teenager taking Ligue 1 by storm

    Paris Saint-Germain endured another tough encounter against their Coupe de France final conquerors Rennes on Sunday, with the hosts coming from behind to claim a 2-1 win at Roazhon Park.

    Playing a starring role in a fine performance from Julien Stephan's side was 16-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.

    Romain Del Castillo's 48th-minute winner came courtesy of Camavinga's sumptuous cross – a moment typical of the quality the youngster carried throughout the contest.

    Here, we tell you a little bit more about a teenage talent who looks set to become one of the hottest properties in European football in the not-too-distant future.


    Latest talent off Rennes' conveyor belt

    Responsible for bringing through the likes of Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M'Vila, Moussa Sow, Yacine Brahimi and Ousmane Dembele, Rennes clearly liked what they saw with Camavinga as he became the youngest player from their academy to sign professional terms.

    He signed in December 2018 after impressing at age-grade level and did not have to wait long to make an impact in the first team.


    History maker

    Camavinga was handed his debut in a 3-3 draw with Angers in April when brought on as a last-minute substitute for M'Baye Niang.

    The youngster impressed enough to play a further six times before the end of the 2018-19 campaign, starting four of those matches.

    The first of those starts came in a 2-2 draw with Monaco, making him the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues.


    If you're good enough, you're old enough

    Rennes knew they had a talent on their hands and, nine months after he penned his first professional contract, they offered Camavinga a new deal running through a further year until 2022.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly given the hype surrounding him, head coach Stephan has used the Angola-born teen in every minute of Rennes' three matches this season, including both matches against PSG.

    Having been on the losing side in the Trophee des Champions clash on August 3, Camavinga had a lot more joy when the sides locked horns in Ligue 1 on Sunday by setting up Del Castillo's winner early in the second half.

    In doing so, he became the youngest player to deliver an assist in the French top flight since Opta started recording such data in 2006-07.


    What next?

    The display against PSG will attract all the plaudits given the calibre of opposition and magnitude of the result, although Stephan will no doubt be just as pleased with Camavinga's performance against Montpellier the week before.

    Leading 1-0 when Flavien Tait was dismissed, Rennes did not lose control of the match thanks largely to their prodigious young talent.

    No Rennes player managed more touches of the ball or won more duels than Camavinga, who also ended the game with the second-highest pass count of any Rennes player – completing 97.6 per cent of those.

    It is surely now just a matter of time before Europe's heavyweight clubs, PSG included, begin to circle for a player who does not turn 17 for another three months.

    At his current rate of progression, and with new records being set seemingly on a weekly basis, Camavinga appears to be heading to the top.

  • Alves scores on debut to lead Sao Paulo to victory Alves scores on debut to lead Sao Paulo to victory

    Dani Alves marked his Sao Paulo debut with the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Ceara on Sunday.

    Alves, 36, signed with the Brazilian giants at the start of the month and the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star had an immediate impact.

    Playing in midfield, Alves took a pass from Raniel and beat a defender before firing past Ceara goalkeeper Diogo Silva in the 40th minute.

    It proved to be the only goal of the clash, which marked Alves' first outing since leading Brazil past Peru in the Copa America final last month.

    Former Spain and Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran also made first appearance for Sao Paulo, starting at right-back.

    Sao Paulo climbed into fifth on the back of their win, sitting five points behind league leaders Santos.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.