The Players podcast: Khadija Shaw and Cedella Marley on moving the women's game forward in Jamaica

Cedella Marley (bottom centre) with the Reggae Girlz
Cedella Marley (bottom centre) was instrumental in Jamaica reaching the women's World Cup

Developing women's football and changing mindsets could take "some time" despite Jamaica's qualification for the Women's World Cup in 2019, says team ambassador Cedella Marley.

Marley, the first-born daughter of legendary musician Bob, and the Reggae Girlz leading goal scorer Khadija Shaw feature in the new series of The Players podcast.

They describe how a disbanded side came back to play in the biggest tournament in the game and why that should not be the end of a fairytale story.

"My father would say that if I can't help plenty of people I don't want it. I think it's something in my DNA," says Marley.

So how do they feel about the future and what changes could be made?

'We thought something would happen from nothing'

In 2010, the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) cut funding to its women's football team. Not only did it leave the side unranked in the Fifa world rankings due to three years of inactivity, it also dented the ambitions of young female players until Marley got involved.

Becoming the team's official ambassador in 2014, Marley has worked with the Reggae Girlz ever since, helping to attract significant funding to help them become the first Caribbean team to reach a Women's World Cup.

"I used to play for fun and there was no senior team around," said Bordeaux forward Shaw.

"Anywhere else everything was structured but not in Jamaica. My mum would say, 'there's no opportunities for girls [in football]' and I would have to wait until she left the house to play.

"I never saw a career because there was no team, there was no nothing. When they told us we were getting a sponsor, we were like, 'what does that even mean?'

"We went crazy. We thought something would happen from nothing. It was a big thing for us. The way she carries herself and talks. There's a different mood. We were so excited to know that somebody wanted to invest in us and give us an opportunity."

'I want to be a force for change'

While Jamaica lost all three of their matches in France, Marley says the experience has made people aware of what can be achieved.

"Jamaica is not a female football-driven country," she said. "It would drive me crazy to listen to the girls and hear them tell me they'd always been told, 'no, you can't do that'. People slamming doors in my face growing up was always a big motivator

"With the girls going to the World Cup it has opened their eyes because everyone was rooting for them. Nobody was expecting it, so it took the whole country by surprise.

"I watched the pleasantries [after qualifying] but once the show is over, what happens? There was no plan. Some of our girls are with some of the best teams in the world."

A dispute over pay saw Shaw call for change in 2019, when Jamaica's women's football team refused to play or train.

Marley added: "It will take some time to change the mindset of the people running the Jamaican Federation. I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime or Khadija's.

"Do I just sit back and see them do nothing? It will get worse before it gets better because sometimes people need to be exposed. Nothing will change if people aren't exposed. I want to be a force for change."