New Reggae Girlz Interim Coach Vin Blaine says defence must be the focus to bridge the gap between his team and the better teams in the CONCACAF region.

Speaking at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Blaine was critical of the team’s defensive organization under the previous coaching staff.

“It’s a concern of mine, from I’ve been watching the team. What I’ve recognized is that defensively, we don’t have bad players but our organization was poor. If I was to criticize the past coaching staff, I would say our girls weren’t playing defensively well. That’s the area I want to sure up first,” said Blaine.

When asked about the fact that the Reggae Girlz have not fared well against the top teams, Blaine said that had more to do with team rotation rather than an inability to compete.

“The team that played against Costa Rica recently; they have not played against the USA, really, because what the coaching staff was doing before, was an assessment of the players, so you found that in the US game, he had a different squad, in the Nigeria game he had a different squad and in the Costa Rica game he had a different squad,” Blaine said.

He was referring to three friendlies the team played against Nigeria, Costa Rica and the USA. In those games, Jamaica won 1-0 against Nigeria, lost 4-0 to the USA and played to a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica. Blaine said the team should not be judged on those recent performances.

“It’s hard to judge how these present girls that have come from the USA and are playing professionally would have matched up,” said Blaine.

“It’s hard to say they did badly because in the past we played a Costa Rica team and I think we got something like 11-0 way back when. They’re still competitive.”

The Reggae Girlz will begin the first round of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on February 17, 2022, against Bermuda.

They are in Group C alongside Grenada, The Dominican Republic, The Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The tournament also serves as qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 - August 20.

The Reggae Girlz are looking to qualify for their second straight FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Deandra Dottin was player of the match as the West Indies Women enjoyed a victorious start to their ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Dottin top-scored with 73 from 87 balls to help the Windies chase down their target of 160 to defeat Ireland by six wickets.

After captain Stafanie Taylor won the toss and elected to field first, the West Indies bowled out Ireland for 159 in 43 overs.

Anissa Mohammed was the pick of the bowlers for the Caribbean side, taking 3-40 from her 10 overs.

She was supported by Hayley Matthews who took 2-20 from her 10.

Shamilia Connell took 2-33 from her 10 and Taylor took 2-15 from her 3 overs.

Gaby Lewis top-scored for the Irish with 36 from 58 balls.

The Windies Women then needed only 39.3 overs to chase their target with Dottin getting 73 and Taylor finishing not out on 41.

The West Indies and Sri Lanka both have two points, having won their first game, with the Windies at the top of the group due to a superior net run rate.

Those two will face off next on Saturday.

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