While pleased that inroads have gradually been made, Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts says there is still a way to go to secure the over-$100 million needed to cover expenses towards the senior Reggae Girlz second-consecutive appearance at the Fifa Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

Ricketts's comments came as he welcomed the latest injection into the governing football body's coffers by Minister of Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange, which he believes will assist in easing the financial burden.

Grange on Monday announced that starting at the end of this month, the Government will provide the Reggae Girlz with a monthly stipend towards their nutritional and training needs leading up to the World Cup, scheduled for July 20 to August 20.

That investment will amount to $20 million, but Grange hinted at the possibility of further support down the road, pending discussions with Ricketts and company.

"In regard to the support of the Government of Jamaica to the Reggae Girlz, we will be providing a monthly stipend for each member of the squad for their nutrition and other training needs, beginning the end of this month... and this will continue until the World Cup," Grange said during the FIFA Women's World Cup trophy tour at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

"And of course, I am looking forward to meeting with the Jamaica Football Federation to see what else we can do. Not making any commitments here, but we'll talk about it because we certainly want to make sure that the Reggae Girlz have the best chance, ever to come home with the trophy," she added.

Ricketts pointed out that the support will go a far way, as the Lorne Donaldson-coached Reggae Girlz continue their build-up to the showpiece where they will contest Group F alongside France, Brazil and Panama.

"It will certainly help, because we do have a far way to go, and I am sure that she has unofficially committed to giving us some more support, so I will talk to the minister and see what further support she has for us," Ricketts told journalists.

"But we are looking forward. It is going to be a struggle but we are very optimistic because we have been getting some new sponsors on board and certainly by the time July 20 comes around, we should be in a better position. But as it is now, we are trying desperately to get sponsors on board and so far it has been working out," he said.

On that note, the president explained that the organisation is currently in the process of finalising camps in June and July, with the former expected to include two send-off games.

"We have had discussions with entities overseas, [and] we have a camp planned just before we go over to Australia. We have almost finalised those arrangements and most of that has been sponsored, so that certainly would have helped us in a huge way," Ricketts shared.

"We also want to have two games here in the June window and we are far advanced in those discussions. So we are excited at the prospects, things are looking up and we must acknowledge our sponsors, especially the Marley Foundation; Cedella has been good to us and of course, the minister and our corporate sponsors. So good times ahead and we are very optimistic," he said.

From the Jamaica Observer