Shanise Foster arrives to lend support to Girlz teammates

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 15, 2018

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Dallas , USA — After enjoying a fairly consistent season with Arnett Gardens in the local Women's League, it was only fitting that Shanise Foster got reintroduced to the senior women's programme.

And what a time it is for her to be back in a Reggae Girlz team that is currently on the cusp of creating more history in the Concacaf Women's Championships here.

Foster, who last sported the national colours in 2014, caught the eye of Head Coach Hue Menzies and his assistants Lorne Donaldson and Andrew Price during their time in Jamaica for the Caribbean Women's Championships, and was later invited to the set-up.

The Arnett Gardens playmaker was initially scheduled to travel with the team ahead of their Group B fixtures in McAllen, Texas, but was left behind due to visa issues.

But as fate would have it, she arrived here in Dallas ahead of the final leg of their championships, where they will have three bites at the cherry for qualification to the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup.

“I am excited to be back, especially at a time like this when the team is about to create history. The setting is a lot more different than it was in the past because the players now are more focused and the bond between them is way better than the last time I was here.

“So it feels good to know that I am a part of a team that has the opportunity to create history. I may have arrived late but I am here to play my part in any way I can to make my teammates, coaches and country proud,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Despite being the lone local-based player in the team, Foster has fitted in well, as she is somewhat of a live wire in the team, both on and off the pitch.

This should come as no surprise though, given the fact that she did rub shoulders with a few of these players at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels while she steadily worked her way up the ranks.

The 25-year-old, who is lethal and fierce with the ball at her feet, has also proven to be very prolific and possesses a lot of speed, which makes her a huge asset to the Reggae Girlz team.

In fact, Menzies and his team have been very impressed by her abilities and the way she has matured in her game as a midfielder.

“I think I have been doing well since the league started and I feel like I am in good form, but playing in the local league and internationally are way different. The quality of each player is better and the team is way more focused and ready.

“So it's a great feeling to be here and I really rate our chances of qualifying; we just have to go out and play hard,” the Norman Manley High School and Navarro College alumna noted.

Foster's spirit is the epitome of the understanding and the desire that defines this current Reggae Girlz unit, fully aware that their journey is not yet finished.

The journey could end with them becoming the first Caribbean team to win the Concacaf Women's Championship and, by extension,b qualify for the World Cup — but they are not getting ahead of themselves.

But wherever the story ends for Foster and her teammates, it would not be a case of how far they can go, but how far they have already come.

“I just want to give it my all, keep working hard and push myself, because there are a lot of people counting on me, as well as the team back home,” she ended.

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