Photo: Jodi-Ann Thomas plays a through pass for Jamaica during their 3-2 win over Barbados in their friemdly series recently.
The recent call up to the national women’s team came as quite a surprise for Jodi-Ann Thomas. With most senior players suffering from a lack of inactivity due to the absence of a league last year, the former UWI Women’s FC player had not kicked a ball in anger for quite a while.
She was however, quite happy to be given the opportunity to don the colours of the nation for just the second time in her football career.
Best suited as a winger due to her lightning speed and deft dribbles, Thomas was used at left back due to her experience and level of understanding of the game and did quite a good job in her new role for the team in the two match tournament where Jamaica defeated Barbados 3-2 before going down to a stinging 1-0 loss to Cuba.
The Jamaica Football Federation called up a full squad of local based players but only a few were eventually selected to be a part of the final set-up for the World Cup qualifiers that will take place this month.
Despite not being among the few local based players eventually called up, Thomas describes her second experience as a Reggae Girl as “epic”.
“The second experience was epic, to know that I was representing my country with my passion. I was pleased at the opportunity to be called upon a second time and as such I accepted the offer and gave it my all.”
Just days after the tournament had ended the 29 year old was called upon to make a presentation outlining the benefits of football as a career choice.
Donnette Gilling, Principal of Stratton Early Childhood Development Centre, invited her to career day to speak with the students at the basic school, an opportunity which she relished.
“I spoke to approximately 80 persons,” she said. “This included children 3-5 years old and parents and staff at the school.
“It was an interactive presentation and I was surprised at the response that they all gave me when I told them that I was a football player and I played for Jamaica. I showed them a few drills and some warm up exercises before giving them some do’s and don’ts on a football field.”
To be able to speak to the children and to get the response I did was just as amazing as representing Jamaica. I certainly hope I get to do both again sometime in the future,” she concluded.
Already over the disappointment of not being a part of the current World Cup qualifiers, Thomas is hoping that her third call-up will be third time lucky, which will led to bigger things for her in the sport that she loves dearly.