Sports

Blackwood: 'We will bring something new and different to World Cup'

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy Sport Editor

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


Deneisha “Den Den” Blackwood believes that her Reggae Girlz will bring their own flavour as they aim to make an impact in their historic appearance at the Fifa Women's World Cup in France next year.

The pacy Jamaica leftback/midfielder embraces the view that her country's best chance of emerging from Group C — which includes high-ranking Australia (sixth), Brazil (10th) and Italy (16th) — would be the team's uniqueness in style, combined with its never-say-die attitude.

“Our side have a style that is very unique to us, and all teams will have difficulty playing against us… teams like USA and Mexico would know us but these teams (Australia, Brazil, Italy) don't, and I believe that we will bring something new and different to the World Cup.

“I am very confident and excited because I know that football is a very tricky game that can go either way, but if we do what we know we can, we could definitely make it from the group stage,” trumpets Blackwood, echoing similar sentiments of teammate Trudi Carter.

The Central Kingston native argues that ultimately good preparation, and not world ranking, will determine the outcome of games.

“Those teams are ranked high, but one thing that is sure to help us is good preparation. I know that if we go there (France) with the right support and confidence and show what we are capable of and believe in each other and the coaching staff, that will take us further,” notes the University of West Florida senior.

With six months to go for the World Cup in June, Blackwood underlined the crucial role of camps and friendly internationals against top-flight teams in the preparation run-up to France 2019.

“Of course, we need to prepare effectively and efficiently, and one of the ways to do that is by playing international games and that, to me, is one of the best preparation solutions as it would allow us to play quality games.

“These games would show us what we need to work on to allow us to be successful when we get to the World Cup… also we need training camps that would give us quality time together as we get to bond more and learn new playing styles,” she told the Jamaica Observer from her Florida base on Tuesday.

Blackwood, 21, says a key asset of the team is its acumen in solving problems during matches, an ability, she thinks, will aid the campaign.

“One of the things I like about this team is that it does not matter how the game is going, we always find a way to fix things, and I think that is one of the things that could help us go far in this World Cup,” she noted.

Blackwood, who plays for the Hue Menzies-coached Florida Kraze Krush in the Women's Premier Soccer League, says qualifying for the World Cup has left a tingle that won't go away.

“The feeling is one that will never go away for me personally, and knowing that we have been working so hard for this moment and to know that it is finally here is literally the best feeling ever, and for that reason I am very much still trapped in the moment,” she beamed.

Playing for her country has been a great honour, but playing for her country on the biggest stage there is in the women's game is “a dream come true”.

“I never dreamt that my name would be associated with a team that would be the first to qualify for a World Cup… I started playing football really late and never fully grasped the game until I was called to the national Under-17 team, and it was there and then I realised this was something I love and want to do well in for myself and country.

“From then I told myself I wanted to be a part of this and I wanted to be a part of a World Cup team… and after I watched my first World Cup on TV, I knew this was an experience I wanted too,” Blackwood told the Observer.

The former Navarro College standout, who figured prominently in Jamaica's qualification campaign for the World Cup, admitted her game needs to improve to make her a better player.

“I think I need to work on using my right foot more because if it comes down to me finishing a goal or clearing a ball, I want to be able to throw it in there to save my team and my country,” reasoned Blackwood, a predominantly left-footed attacking midfielder.

The pride of George's Lane, who is on her final lap in her studies for a bachelor's degree in sports management at University of West Florida, says her plan B is falling into place nicely.

“This is my final year and [I ] will be graduating next May… I have been focusing on this degree so I can have something to fall back on,” she ended.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT