Fri | Sep 20, 2019

McCoy upbeat in spite of injury

Published:Monday | June 17, 2019 | 12:43 AMAndrÈ Lowe/Sports Editor
National senior women’s football team player Kayla McCoy (second left) shares a joke with teammates (from left) Deneisha Blackwood, Olufolasade Adamolekun and Mireya Grey during a familiarisation tour of the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, last Thursday ahead of the team’s second FIFA Women’s World Cup match against Italy.
National senior women’s football team player Kayla McCoy (second left) shares a joke with teammates (from left) Deneisha Blackwood, Olufolasade Adamolekun and Mireya Grey during a familiarisation tour of the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, last Thursday ahead of the team’s second FIFA Women’s World Cup match against Italy.

GRENOBLE, France:

Injured days before the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and relegated to the sidelines, Jamaican striker Kayla McCoy is managing her disappointment and making the most of the situation.

The 22-year-old was expected to play a substantial role in coach Hue Menzies’ tactical plans in France as one of only two out-and-out strikers in the squad but suffered a knee injury during Jamaica’s final warm-up game against Scotland, which ruled her out of the tournament.

Still, the Houston Dash striker is happy to offer moral support to her teammates and gather as much from the World Cup experience as possible.

“I mean, it has definitely been tough,” McCoy told The Gleaner ahead of a rehabilitation session yesterday. “I have put a lot of work and effort to get to this point, so to not be able to see the fruits of what I put in has been rough. But it has been a good time, and it has been important for me to be with the team and to be able to stay with them during the tournament. Obviously, staying on the sidelines is not where I’d like to be, but I’d rather be here than to be home.”

INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE

“It’s been an incredible experience, and it’s been really cool to see. I have been able to just sit and watch so many of the top players from across the world, and that’s been really incredible. I have been able to learn just from watching things that maybe I wouldn’t be able to if I was ­playing because I would have been so focused on myself and the team. So staying on the sidelines, I have been able to see the professionalism and creativity that other players in the world play with, and it’s been really cool to see,” said McCoy, granddaughter of veteran Jamaican politician Pearnel Charles.

“I have also seen the resilience of this team as we get back up and rise after some tough defeats, and it’s been pretty inspiring. I can’t wait to get back on the field with them,” McCoy said.

McCoy, who is still waiting to know the extent of the damage to her knee, said that the setback has pushed her to work even harder and return an even stronger player. She added that her Reggae Girlz teammates have really encouraged her and have done their best to make her feel like part of the team.

PART OF THE GAME

“It has definitely pushed me. I can’t sit and sulk about it; it’s part of the game. It happens, so you just have to get back up and get back to work and do everything to get better as quickly as you can. That’s what I have been doing to ensure that I’m doing as much rehab as I can do while I am here,” McCoy added.

“The team has been extremely supportive, and I think they have appreciated having me around. It’s very easy to feel like you’re not a part of the team when you can’t play, and they have really tried to make me feel like a part of the team. The coaching staff has obviously been very good, and all of the staff have really been really good to me,” said McCoy.

McCoy’s replacement in the squad, Mireya Grey, has spoken publicly about their good relationship, and McCoy shared that she was happy that Grey was given the opportunity to rejoin the squad, even if it came at her own expense.

“I’m not going to lie, I was happy to hear that she was the one coming in to replace me. She is a fantastic player, and I think she deserves every bit to be here, and so the fact that what happened to be unfortunate for me has turned into an opportunity for her, I am grateful to be a part of her experience as well. She mentioned we are close; I haven’t known her very long, but the first day we met, we hit it off, and I have been excited to have her back here with us,” said McCoy.

McCoy has played three times for the Reggae Girlz.