Brooks ready to take leadership role
Thanks to her invaluable experience with the national senior women's squad, Under-20 goalkeeper Liya Brooks is ready to take the mantle of leadership in their charge to qualify for the Under-20 Women's World Cup.
The Young Reggae Girlz start their Under-20 Concacaf Women's Championship final-round journey this afternoon at 3, when they face Canada in their Group A opener at the Estadio Felix Sanchez in the Dominican Republic. Brooks has been a mainstay in goal for Jamaica in their unbeaten qualifying-round run last month but has also found herself in the senior team set-up as recently as March when she went to the Cup of Nations tournament in Australia.
Brooks says that the experience gained has her ready to lead the team on the field in the final round despite being in a group with Canada, the United States and Panama.
"It (being in the senior camp) showed me that there is always more work to be done. I'm still making my way into playing in the senior camp but here I really have to show my own leadership and bring back what I have learned there to the team here," Brooks told STAR Sports. "And I think am trying my best to do that and it has been really helpful."
That leadership off the field will be replicated on it as the limited time has been used to improve their communication as they are in a very tough group.
"I see everything on the field so I have to relay that off to the backline and they have to relay that to the midfield and the strikers. So our communication has to help everyone else on the field as well," Brooks said. "We have been working specifically on moving the ball from the back, firm passes to get it across and not necessarily having to force the ball forward."
Citing the team chemistry as strong, Brooks believes that they have a great chance of making history by qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup next year, which would be a first for the age group.
"It would mean everything. We would be the first Jamaica Under-20 team to do it. And I think we are fully capable of doing it. So I just hope we go out there and show the results," Brooks said.