Jordan Women’s National Team coaching staff lead by head coach Michael Dickey summed up the benefits of the successful USA training camp, which was held in Orlando, Florida, from 15-25 August in preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup & World Cup qualifiers.
The camp featured 3 matches, as our National Team managed to defeat Florida Tech Panthers 2-1 in the first game, then defeated Southeastern Fire 4-2 in the second, and was narrowly edged out by Orlando Pride’s Development Academy 4-3 in the last encounter.
Dickey reflected on the success of the camp by fulfilling its goals, while pointing out its additional takeaways:
“Our camp in the USA was a success. It helped our players see that U.S. players have a tradition of winning important matches on the world stage and demonstrating a competitive attitude from start to finish. While being relentless, even when they are losing. This was evident in all 3 games we played. It was my intention to expose our team to this mentality so that they would hopefully bring this to our game, and it worked! We have made this part of our game as well.”
“We played the best football I have seen them play since I became the coach, it was very exciting to watch and coach. Overall we have made tremendous strides in a short time and our team chemistry is very good. We have a lot of talent on the team and our young players have stepped up in a big way.”
“We are looking forward to get back to work. We still have many areas to improve, and we will address this in training in Amman and in our upcoming camps. The players fitness plan is also working and they have all made substantial progress in this area . This is vitally important in our quest to qualify for the World Cup finals in France. Last but not least, we’d like to thank our hosts in the USA and our outstanding Jordan staff who worked tirelessly to make this camp a success!”
On his part, coach Jorge Cruz explained: “Mike’s idea was to be able to play against physical, strong and aggressive teams. Our girls did very well in the first two games even though the results of the games did not tell the whole story. I thought the girls were improving as they played each game.”
“The girls really found the rhythm in the last game specially in the first 60 minutes of the game. They were able to connect 10 consecutive passes in build up of a goal, and they were able to build up the attack from the back. defensively they did a great job individually and collectively, they moved the ball around by constantly switching the point of the attack. Unfortunately it wasn’t the same in the last 15 minutes of the game, but it was a positive lesson that we should maintain our concentration for the whole game no matter how good we play; and specially in the big games.”
“We were able to see everybody playing and now we have a very good idea where we are physically, mentally, technically and tactically.”
“The training camp went very well. We were able to work on the most important elements of the game and prepare the team for the games. The girls worked very hard, and with a lot of enthusiasm even though they never have trained in the same intensity before a game. In the end they were very tired, but happy and satisfied because they accomplished a lot in this camp.”
Coach Maher Abu Hantash reaffirmed by saying: “It was a very successful training camp. We played 3 matches where we got the chance to give all players some playing time. We got the chance to work on different defensive and attacking tactics. We also got to see our promising young prospects who live and play in the states closely, and we were pleased with the level that these girls showed.”
“Our players applied what we wanted well, and now we are looking forward to our next camp.” He concluded.
Meanwhile, fitness coach Shannon Grady poured praise on the development of the players’ fitness, stating that the latest tests showed noticeable improvement in their fitness levels which reflected on their performance during games.
Grady said: “The girls showed improvement in their fitness during matches, it was also clear to me that it gave them more confidence on the pitch.”
“They have worked hard and committed to their individual training programs. There is still more improvement and development to be done because we want them to be fully fit to compete at the top level by April.” She concluded.
The National Team will head to Europe for another training camp in September, as preparations keep ascending towards the kickoff of the Women’s Asian Cup.