‘It’s higher late than by no means’ is a proverb that aptly describes the present actuality of Jamaica’s senior soccer program for the Reggae Boyz and the Reggae Girlz, particularly relating to their readiness forward of tournaments later this yr.
Information popping out of the Jamaica Soccer Federation (JFF) is that bulletins are imminent relating to pleasant video games for each groups through the upcoming FIFA Window between late Could and early June. The JFF was set to announce pleasant video games for the Reggae Girlz forward of the beginning of the FIFA World Cup qualifying marketing campaign in November.
And for individuals who may need forgotten, the Reggae Girlz, who certified as the primary English-speaking Caribbean nation for the 2019 World Cup Finals in France, haven’t performed collectively in lots of moons primarily due to the devastating results of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Jamaica’s sporting panorama has been severely affected because the Authorities struggles to steadiness public well being and the resumption of sporting actions. That has seen many sporting disciplines remaining underneath lockdown, together with soccer, the preferred sport on the island.
The announcement of those video games shall be nice information for head coach Hubert Busby, particularly after a possibility to get in some much-needed apply in Spain earlier this yr was missed due to the lethal affect of COVID-19 in that European nation.
Whereas the Jamaican Authorities fidgeted with the return of sports activities, many of the rivals in CONCACAF discovered a solution to return sports activities to the folks. And people nations would have been extra superior of their preparations forward of November’s begin of the World Cup qualifiers.
However a minimum of Busby and his technical workers can now lastly start to chart the best way ahead and attempt to rise up to hurry as shortly as attainable. We want our women nicely.
For the Reggae Boyz, a supply has indicated that they, too, shall be engaged in a two-game pleasant collection through the mentioned FIFA window. This announcement shall be made at a later date, the supply mentioned. If confirmed, that shall be nice information for head coach Theodore Whitmore and his technical workers, who’ve been given the proverbial straw basket to hold water.
Over the previous yr, a number of English-based gamers have been linked with the Reggae Boyz, a few of whom have already dedicated and have made their debuts, whereas a couple of others are awaiting official Jamaica paperwork to formalize the method. But, others are discussing the transfer with their households for a last determination to be taken.
On the finish of the day, the variety of people is pretty excessive and Whitmore and his workers would wish time to completely entry these gamers and, extra importantly, get in sufficient match apply to supply an surroundings for gamers to gel, develop an understanding of one another and to construct workforce chemistry.
Whitmore should have a strong pool of gamers at his disposal because the format for this qualification marketing campaign requires no much less. For some home windows, the Reggae Boyz will play three matches in fast succession, and Whitmore might want to have the assets to rotate gamers and nonetheless preserve a excessive degree of play.
Sadly, Whitmore misplaced out on the final two FIFA home windows final November and March. Not that the Reggae Boyz weren’t engaged. However to many, these video games had been rendered lower than preferrred.
The brand new COVID-19 protocols and bungled journey preparations for the workforce to get to Saudi Arabia meant that the Reggae Boyz had been short-staffed and undercooked for his or her first recreation towards the Center Jap nation, which they duly misplaced.
Nevertheless, the workforce rebounded massively and comfortably defeated their rivals within the return recreation three days later, proving that if they’re correctly ready, they’ve the instruments to compete efficiently.
Final March was one other alternative to assist in the preparation of the workforce in a recreation towards CONCACAF rivals the US in Austria. However, once more, the chance was wasted in a 4-1 defeat. Half of the squad travelled from Jamaica and had not performed competitively in a yr, whereas the opposite half included about six gamers who had by no means earlier than suited up in Jamaican colours.
Many of the gamers who had performed in Saudi Arabia and who had been part of Whitmore’s groups over the previous yr, watched from the sidelines as a result of they had been in an extended, drawn-out wage dispute with the JFF. That dispute had since been settled.
From our vantage level, we hope that these gamers, a few of whom are high-profile English Premier League campaigners, will seize the chance to make the journey for these two video games in order that they will strut their stuff and supply complications for Whitmore and his workers.
It’s already late within the day because the US and Mexico are far forward by way of their preparation for the World Cup qualifiers, however as is usually mentioned in Jamaica, It’s by no means too late for a bathe of rain.