By: Sheldon Wright
Becoming the first Caribbean team to qualify for the Gold Cup final is an amazing feat and one that needs National recognition. This Winfred Schaefer coached Jamaica team should be very proud. It is incumbent that the persons in authority of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) keep this crop of players together, make improvements where needed and ensure that the men involved in playing for this current team receive a special bonus for added motivation for achieving an historic second placing to Mexico, despite losing 3-1 in the final.
It is ironic that the game was not televised due to the rights not being bought, which in my view, is as a result of the previous tournament the Jamaica team played at the Copa America hosted in Chile who turned out victors, but was televised on local Jamaican TV. For this tournament Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz performed brilliantly against some of South America’s top players such as Lionel Messi’s Argentina, and should feel no shame playing against countries with rich history and tradition in football excellence, by losing by a 1 nil margins in all three games.
Jamaica did very well at the Gold Cup, against all odds creating history and went on to defeat the USA on their home soil 2-1 and reach the final for the first time in the process.
What is different about this Jamaica squad is the self belief in their ability to win games and the role of their captain, Rudolf Austin who wears number 17. FR Sports believes, that any captain who is willing to drive his team forward was missing in recent years; especially one that could score goals when needed shows great leadership.
In the game against Canada, the team was scoreless and like a super hero, Austin runs in scores a brilliant header. This goal helps to win the games, and put Jamaica in pole position to top group. The fact that Jamaica can deliberately go in and control and win games, speaks volumes to the growth of this team.
Coach Winfred Schaefer must to be commended for turning this team around, after receiving immense criticisms when the team didn’t perform, even after bringing in one of Jamaica’s high school coaches, Jamaica College winning Manning Cup coach Miguel Coley as assistant coach, who will appreciate the experience at the International level.
Now can this current squad, which has done very well produce the same brand of good defensive, counter attacking football to win games in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. FR Sports will therefore stress that the JFF Jamaica needs to keep this current crop of players together and motivated.
The football program simply needs more investment, due to the demands of professional sports financially, FR Sports has not seen the books for the Jamaican Football Federation and is happy to see the new kit deal with Romai however the players need to also rally around this set world cup qualifiers. For the football team to show their quality, the players must be invested in, where major sponsors individually endorse these players with not only the money but this will also boost their confidence and more sense of purpose to perform at a higher level.
Can the local telecommunications companies such as Digicel or recently merged Flow sponsor the likes of Kemar “Taxi” Lawrence, who already has deal with soda giants Pepsi. Lawrence currently playing his football with New York Red Bulls, was voted as the best left back in the Copa America and the Gold Cup. He deserves a good contract with a major sponsor, because we all know these players need all the motivation they can get. An article was published that Newcastle United in the English Premier League was interested in his services however due to new laws to obtain a work permit; it would be difficult to attain one, being a foreign based player. However he is definitely one to watch for the future.
Hector signs with English Giants Chelsea FC
Michael Hector age 23 who recently signed a five (5) year contract with a move worth 4.5 million pounds, had put in some serious performances for Jamaica in the Copa America and the Gold Cup this summer and despite many Jamaican fans singling him out for certain lapses in concentration that caused Jamaica the lose against power houses in the world of football, he has ability. Hector deserves his contract, for what is amazing is how he stuck to the task, and moved around with eleven (11) different clubs on loan before settling at Reading FC. Unfortunately we won’t be able to see him play for the football giants, and will be continue to play for Reading on loan, but the option to bring him into the fold will be available in January 2016.
Now the Jamaican footballer team needs to use this success as a boost for the World Cup qualifiers that are coming up for the rest of the year, starting with Nicaragua on Friday, September 4, 2015 at the National Stadium in Jamaica.
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