By: Sheldon Wright
FR Sports Staff Writer
Jamaica’s local football premier league has really come from far and with the local sporting market growing, one can only hope that Jamaican football clubs start taking themselves seriously as professional business entities. But can any coach of the Reggae Boyz seriously look the Red Stripe premier league and say, “now that is a precocious talent, I can’t wait to inject a bit of life into the National team”, sorry in most instances the answer is absolutely no. Coach Winifred Schaefer with all the limited resources he is working with simply will not take that kind of gamble. Too much interest with local school boy football.
When you look at the number of players on the Jamaican National Team, most of these professionals come from actually professional leagues. Whether born in the UK and deciding to represent the green, gold and black colours of Jamaica, or playing in the MLS league in America, most of the professional players in Jamaica’s first team do not play in Jamaica’s football league. This is especially the team that recently reached the Gold Cup finals this year, a first for any Jamaican football team.
Only one player stood out, and that was Kemar “Taxi” Lawrence who played for Harbour View FC before moving to the New York Red Bulls, was heavily scouted to play overseas and has represented Jamaica at the youth level. But can there be more talented players such as him to give Jamaica hope of not being represented by mostly foreigners?
Too much hype for Manning and Dacosta Cup
The local school boy Manning and DaCosta Cup is presently going on, and with all the hype that constantly surrounds this tournament, year in and year out, it simply amazes me, at the level of stupidity that exists in the local football circles.
How for the life of anyone, can we seek to create the impression that this is the best that Jamaica’s appetite for football has to offer. There is absolutely no where in the world of football, where this much level of interest is placed on high school level of football.
Football clubs around the world are the breeding ground for where talented footballers emerge, and that is where National coaches seek to inject top level players into their programs. From Barcelona in Spain, to AC Milan in Italy, coaches are looking at the club leagues for producing talented and hopefully younger National players. Next is the league, so that they can see where the level of play presently exists.
Jamaica football clubs need to become business entities
I seriously believe that Jamaica’s economy can grow with the development of the sporting industry, and I believe that some University graduates can look towards working in professional sporting environments at local sporting organizations. Therefore clubs need to grow more as business forward organizations, these clubs need an owner with that amount of money who wants to see the club and the sport grow, and one that can also ease the burden to hire intelligent University trained graduates to help develop the brands of the sporting organizations just like it’s done in the US or European countries. Then with the investment hopefully coming into the club by these talented and business oriented graduates, the coaching may get more training as professionals and resources to work with and more talented players may just benefit from better training and coaching.
(Chelsea Billionaire Owner-Roman Abromovich)
For Jamaica’s football to really grow, the clubs need to develop better, and improve stadium conditions, to the football fields and the attractiveness of their brand. Football is beautiful, once the clubs respect their sport as a product to be served up for anticipating fans. But I suppose the real question is, can we afford to do such a thing?
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