Sports

Proud parents of Jody Brown living World Cup dream with a little help from friends

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE 2019 FIFA
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP FINALS
In France

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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GRENOBLE, France — To say that Jody Brown's parents, Novelette Hall-Brown and Andrew Brown, are extremely proud would be an understatement.

Both could hardly contain their pride seeing their offspring on the Fifa Women's World Cup stage here in a debut campaign with the Reggae Girlz.

Only 17 years old, Brown is one of only a few players who have so far represented the country at all four levels — Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and now the senior level. And she has done so with distinction.

The diminutive player may be shy in nature, but once she has a ball at her feet her true personality comes to light; and so did her parents' joy and pride when she came on as a second-half substitute in both Group C fixtures against Brazil and Italy. The Girlz lost both 0-3 and 0-5, respectively.

Despite her small stature, Brown, who hails from Lime Hall in the “Garden Parish” of St Ann, is a dangerous package of speed and flair, which enables her to dazzle even the most formidable defensive line.

And with those capabilities, she delivered on a promise to her parents as she played a critical role in ensuring that Jamaica became the first Caribbean country to make an appearance at the global showpiece.

Novelette expressed happiness over Jody's love, passion and commitment to the game, as she reflected on her performances over the years, particularly in the qualifiers.

“We are so proud of her and we knew that she was going to make it because, before World Cup qualifiers, we were watching football and I said to her 'Jody, how come Jamaica cannot go to a World Cup', and she said 'Mommy, you know we are going to the World Cup'. But I was just taking it as fun.

“But when the Girlz did such a great job to qualify and she was a part of the team... So it was amazing because she told us that we are going to qualify for the World Cup, so we prayed and we were so excited,” the beaming mother told the Jamaica Observer while on a visit to the team's hotel yesterday.

An equally excited Andrew described his daughter's accomplishment at such a young age as the best moments of his life.

“It is the biggest time of our lives to see our daughter at such a tender age representing Jamaica at this level and reach so far, and we are just so proud of her. And the community of Lime Hall, everybody is so proud of her and I am sure Jamaica, on a whole, is proud of her. And right now I think the whole world is taking notice of her on the world stage because this is the highest level and this is where every player aspires to be — and for her to be here is just awesome,” the elder Brown shared.

“That is why we are here because it has been a long but a good journey, so we hope that today (yesterday) will be a glory day for Jody and her teammates because everybody wants to see them win.

“We know that we are the less fortunate of all the sides here, so the three sides that we play against are much better. But we know that the Girlz are going to give a good account of themselves, and all of us as Jamaicans and even the world would celebrate with us if we were to score here on the biggest stage of football. So, we would like to see at least a goal, but win or lose, we are really proud of Jody and her teammates,” he added ahead of the Girlz 'final Group C game against Australia yesterday.

Both Novelette and Andrew are able to join their daughter on the world stage as a number of individuals played crucial roles in getting them to France. And for that, they were very appreciative.

Novelette explained that making the trip at one point seemed in doubt, as the finances and adequate planning was lacking close to the start of the one-month tournament.

“When the team qualified I was saying we are going to France, but as the time drew closer there were some uncertainties. But Mr (Danny)Beckford put out his all so that I was able to come, and Ms Trisha Robinson and her family also did a lot to help out with a fund-raiser for us in Florida so that we could come here.

“Because one time I thought it was just my husband alone that was coming, but those people put a lot into ensuring that we are both here and we are really grateful,”she reasoned.

Andrew echoed her sentiments, as they would have been back in Jamaica by now had it not been for more intervention from a few good Samaritans.

“We also have to give thanks to Pat Garel because when I gave her my phone to take my number because we are going home she said 'no you guys are not going home'. And right away she went on her phone and by the following morning everything was organised, which is why we are still here.

“We don't know how to thank Mr and Mrs Robinson and a young boy name Leon, who set up a GoFundMe page for us to be here, and we enjoy every moment of it,” Andrew noted.

“To see our daughter on the world stage training is really heartwarming for us. We were unhappy with the last two results because we know our daughter and her teammates can do even better, and I know they worked hard to be here And when I saw Jody coming on the field I was excited, but I really feel that she has a lot more to offer.

“It's history for us and history for the Reggae Girlz, and as a father I am not only thinking about Jody only, but the entire team — and we would like to see the chemistry that they have continue,” he ended.


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