Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, the second FIFA-Concacaf Coach Educators’ Course (CEC), hosted by the Concacaf Development Department, came to a successful conclusion in Curacao.

The course took place from August 17-21 with attendees from the following 12 Member Associations: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and host Curacao.

A total of 19 coach educators participated in the event whose purpose was to continue the long-term progressive development and mentoring of coach educators in Concacaf’s member associations, for capacity building and self-reliance.

The program also provided an opportunity for active continuous professional development (CPD) through the sharing of new coach education methodologies and processes.

The CEC is a continuation of the Concacaf Train the Trainer Program (T3P) which focuses on the delivery of the Concacaf D license. As a prerequisite to registration, all participants had to successfully complete the Concacaf Train the Trainer Program (T3P) and delivered at least one Concacaf D License course in his/her Member Association.

Among the highlights of the five-day course were sessions on theory and on-field situations related to the Concacaf C License, with topics including Coach Educator-Profiles & Roles, Adult-Learning Principles and Assessments (Formative and Summative).

FIFA Senior Manager of Coaching and Player Development Mohamed Basir conducted the course, along with support from FIFA/Concacaf Coach Educators Anton Corneal (Trinidad and Tobago) and Vinimore Blaine (Grenada/Jamaica).

Notable attendees included FIFA Head of Coaching and Player Development Branimir Ujevic, FIFA Regional Technical Consultant Lenny Lake and Concacaf Development Manager Etienne Siliee.

Waterhouse of Jamaica will be the first team to take a crack at reigning Scotiabank Concacaf League champion CS Herediano of Costa Rica when the two sides meet in the first leg of their 2019 SCL Round of 16 series on Thursday night at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Caribbean club is making its maiden voyage in the SCL and will be relying on Andre Fletcher and Keithy Simpson to handle the goalscoring duties.

Both Fletcher and Simpson tallied two goals in Waterhouse’s second place finish at the 2019 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship.

The SCL is familiar territory for Herediano, who took home the crown in the 2018 edition by showcasing a dazzling brand of attacking football, combined with solid defensive play.

The hot boot at present for the Ticos belongs to Francisco Rodriguez, who has three goals in his last two Costa Rican Apertura 2019 matches. Another threat is Jose Guillermo Ortiz, who has two goals this season and scored in last year’s SCL.

West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

The Reggae Boyz will kickstart their Nations League group stage effort on Friday against Antigua and Barbuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on the island’s north coast.

The game will be played on September 6, leaving the Reggae Boyz, who last played in the Gold Cup, ending their campaign in the semi-finals, with little turn-around time before their game against Guyana on September 9.

The team will leave the island September 7 for that fixture.

Coach of the Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore, is under no illusions about how important these games are, expressing those sentiments to key executives of the Jamaica Football Federation just recently.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” he said.

Whitmore was appealing to the executive members for support in the next few months, saying even after that, all international fixtures took on significance.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Rule changes in the region, mean that only the top six teams will be allowed to play in qualifiers for a direct place in the World Cup.

The teams finishing outside of that top six will play for FIFA’s half-spot, meaning they will play against each other for the right to play against the team that finishes fourth from the top-six.

That game will be played in a home-and-away format and will determine another fixture of the same nature against a team from another region. Those two will then play for a World Cup berth.

The hexagonal will feature 10 games for each team, beginning in September.

There will also be games in October and November this year, before a restart in March of 2021. The games conclude in September of 2021, just over a year before the World Cup.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not taking seriously, an email which purported there was an imminent threat to the Indian cricket team currently in the West Indies on tour.

The Indian cricket team has already gone through three T20 internationals and three One Day Internationals in the Caribbean, with the first match of a Test series set for Antigua on August 22.

The BCCI have contacted authorities in Antigua regarding the threat and will be beefing up security, though the threat is being viewed as a hoax.

“We have briefed the home ministry and shared the email. The embassy in Antigua has also been contacted and briefed. The Mumbai police has also been informed and the security of the Indian team in the West Indies has been beefed up," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had told Indian media.

Despite being given clearance to compete for a spot at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics, Jamaican hurdler Danielle Williams remains in the hunt for a Diamond League trophy.

A Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) decision had deemed Williams ineligible to compete for a spot at this year’s World Championships after a false start at the country’s national trials, however, there was still a window for the athlete to make the team to Doha had she earned an automatic spot via winning the Diamond League.

Williams then broke the national record and is unbeaten over the 100-metre hurdles since that time. Her 12.32-second clocking meant she lead the world, putting the JAAA in some amount of discomfort.

However, earlier this week, another JAAA release said the athlete would be contemplated since her disqualification in the event, could not be counted since the race was deemed null and void after subsequent attempts at re-running it.

That being said, Williams’ time would suggest she is a shoe-in for a place on the team the JAAA said would be picked based on IAAF-ranking at the time of selection.

Williams leads the world rankings with 1385 points while Megan Tapper with 1263, Janeek Brown with 1257, and Yanique Thompson with 1202 are the next highest-ranked Jamaicans.

Should Williams earn an automatic place, Thompson, who for the moment is out of a place at the World Championships could be headed to Doha as well.

Still, Williams coach, Lennox Graham has come out to say, the 2015 World Champion would still be taking aim at the Diamond League Trophy.

“The focus of our season doesn’t change. Once the issue happened, we had made a conscious decision to focus on the things that we can control  and what we were in control of at the time was contractually agreed to already, running in the Diamond League and getting all the points you can and getting into the final and try to win. This decision extends her season so that’s the effect that this will have on it,” Graham had said in an interview with Radio Jamaica.

The Diamond League moves to Birmingham tomorrow where Williams is again down to compete.

Former Jamaica high school star, Christopher, Taylor is back on the track after a hamstring injury had forced him into aborting his season and plans to go to the World Championships later this year.

The 400-metre athlete, who got injured during preparations for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championship, quit school right after and turned pro, before going to the United States to join the Tumbleweed Tack Club in .

Today, Taylor turned up in Belgium and on his first outing back on the track, looked strong, leading his 400-metre event at the Meeting voor Mon Leuven (Flanders Cup) from blocks to tape to win in 45.62 seconds, a season’s best.

Canada’s Graeme Thompson was well beaten, finishing second in 46.43, while France’s Thomas Jordier was third in 47.01.

The field was rounded out by the Netherlands Dobber Jochem (47.14) Spain’s Echeverry Andres (47.38), Canada’s Austin Cole (47.43), France’s Gilles Biron (47.90) and Michael Rossaert (49.43).

Taylor holds personal bests of 10.11 in the 100m, which equals the national junior record, 20.35 for the 200m and 44.88 for the 400m, the fastest-ever by a Jamaican at the junior level.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's Candice McLeod clocked 53.63 for second place in the B-race of the women's 400m.  Yasmin Liverpool of Great Britain easily won in 53.03.

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has added the head coach role at the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to his stewardship of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).

Last week it was announced that McCullum, in addition to taking up head coaching duties with the Hero Caribbean Premier League defending champions, TKR, he would be an assistant with parent organization, KKR in the Indian Premier League.

McCullum’s appointments had come just weeks after the former opener announced his retirement from all forms of the game.

According to KKR’s chief executive, Venky Mysore, McCullum is an ideal replacement for Jacques Kallis, former South Africa all-rounder.

"Brendon has been an integral part of the Knight Riders family for a long time," Mysore said.

"His leadership qualities, honesty, positive and aggressive style, combined with his natural ability to bring the best out of the teams he has been a part of makes him ideally suited to lead both KKR and TKR as a head coach."

McCullum believes both organisations have the kind of pedigree that makes it an honour to take on the roles.

"It's a great honour to take on this responsibility," McCullum said. "The Knight Rider franchises in IPL and CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket. We have fantastic squads in both KKR and TKR and I, along with the support staff will be looking to build on the success both franchises have enjoyed," said the aggressive opener.

McCullum ended his international career a few years ago, having scored 6,453 Test runs at an average of 38.64 from 101 matches. He scored 12 centuries and 31 half centuries along the way.

In ODIs, McCullum averaged 30.41, scoring 6,083 runs from 260 games. He would score five centuries and 32 half centuries in that format.

His aggressive style meant he was well suited to the T20 game and in T20 Internationals for New Zealand, he scored 2,140 runs from 71 matches at an average of 35.66. He scored two centuries and had 13 half centuries.

In franchise cricket, McCullum was a veteran of some 370 games, scoring 9,922 runs at an average of 29.97. In those almost 400 games, he scored seven centuries and 55 half centuries.

While Windies skipper Jason Holder has voiced extreme disappointment after his side lost the second One Day International to India by 59 runs, the team’s coach believes the result is something to learn from.

“We had the game in our hand. We bowled well to come back in the end,” said Holder after his team restricted India to 279 despite Virat Kohli’s majestic 120 and Shreyas Iyer’s 71.

In response, the West Indies were coasting along at 179 for four when Nicholas Pooran (42), got out. Earlier, opener Evin Lewis had scored 65 to take the score to 148 for four, but there was an almost inexplicable collapse that cost the West Indies.

“The wickets in the end really cost us. We've got to take responsibility. One of the main things is when you get in, you've got to go deep. I must commend the bowlers. It was very hot and humid, tough conditions to bowl. We've definitely got to take responsibility and ownership as batters,” said Holder.

While in agreement with Holder, West Indies coach, Floyd Reifer, did not express the same disappointment as his skipper, saying the team was showing signs of improvement despite the poor results.

"It's not an uphill task. We're building ourselves again and when you're building your side you get speed bumps along the way. It's [about] how you bounce back from those speed bumps,” said Reifer.

“Very disappointed,” was Holder’s reaction and while Reifer hasn’t voiced the same sentiment, he did single out the batters for being too inconsistent.

"We got to continue to learn from this experience. Guys in the middle-order got to show a little bit more fight, a bit more grit and more determination to build those longer partnerships. Again, we were in front of the game today and we just found a way to give away our wickets. It's just a matter for us now to learn from our mistakes, dig deeper and work harder from the stressful positions we put ourselves in."

Four relays two medals represented the best the Caribbean could produce over the course of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Beginning on Friday, T&T copped silver in the men’s 4x100 metres before grabbing a bronze in the 4x400 men the following day.

Jamaica, usually a powerhouse with stick in hand, found the going tough and only managed a bronze over the four relay events, 4x100  and 4x400 men and women.

The Jamaicans earned their sole medal with the stick in the 4x400 women.

On Friday, T&T’s team of Keston Bledman, Jerod Elcock, Kyle Greaux, and Akanni Hislop clocked a season’s best 38.46 seconds to finish behind Brazil, who hit the tape in 38.27.

Jamaica finished fifth in 39.01 seconds.

On Saturday, Jamaica did a little better, crossing the tape in women’s 4x400 metres in 3:27.61 to finish behind the United States, 3:26.46, and Canada, 3:27.01.

The T&T men would match the exploits of the Jamaicans, earning a bronze medal in a time of 3:02.25.

They would finish behind Colombia, 3:01.41, and the United States, 3:01.72.

 

Grenada’s Anderson Peters won a major battle against fellow Caribbean javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Saturday.

Peters would eventually throw 87.31 metres, breaking Cuba’s Guillermo Martinez’s eight-year-old Pan Am Games record to claim the win against Trinidad and Tobago’s Walcott, whose implement landed 83.55 metres away at its furthest.

Peters reached the mark with his first throw, finding his second best effort coming with his fourth throw, an 85.90 monster that would have won him the title anyway.

Walcott’s first throw was also his best, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic champion finding trouble with getting back to his lofty 90-metre best.
St Lucia’s Albert Reynolds threw a personal best, 82.19 metres for third.

Fourth place went to the United States’ Michael Shuey, the only other thrower over 80 metres, with his 80.72.

There were two other Caribbean athletes in the event, with Grenada’s Markim Felix, 77.18, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Shakeil Waithe, 76.15, finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite is the Pan American 110-metre hurdles champion after his exploits on Saturday in Lima, Peru.

Brathwaite, no stranger to big competition, stayed steady at the end of a tight race to get the better of the United States’ Freddie Crittenden III. The two went through the tape together, registering 13.31 and 13.32 seconds.

The American and the Barbadian separated themselves from the field with Brazil’s Eduardo Dos Santos Rodrigue, 13.48, taking him closest.

Another Barbadian, Greggmar Swift, was just short of a place on the podium, finishing in 13.51 for fourth.

The race wasn’t clean and the United States’ Jarret Eaton, as well as Brazil’s Gabriel Oliveira Constantin failed to finish, while Colombia’s Fanor Escobar and Cuba’s Roger Iribarne were disqualified.

There will be no St Lucia Stars in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League after a split between the owners of the franchise and the competition’s organisors.

Royal Sports Club, LLC had a contract with the CPL which was terminated, meaning they no longer have the rights to operate a franchise in the competition. Royal Sports Club owns the St Lucia Stars.

While the Stars can no longer play in the CPL, St Lucia is not expected to be without a franchise, as the CPL announced recently, it would be ‘establishing and operating’ a new franchise based on the island.

 

Former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, will be the next head coach of the Trinbago Knight Riders when the new season begins in just over a month.

McCullum, who retired from all forms of cricket earlier this week, will also join the Kolkata Knight Riders as the organisation’s assistant coach.

McCullum was supposed to play for the Glasgow Giants at the end of August in the Euro T20 Slam, but announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in the middle of the Global T20 Canada League last week.

McCullum, who may have still wanted to play in the Euro T20 Slam had to put that off because the CPL begins September 5, creating a clash for the new head coach.

"I owe it to myself and the teams I represent to close that chapter rather than just plough on regardless of what I know to be true," McCullum had wrote on Instagram.

"In T20 cricket, I've enjoyed so many varied challenges, I can leave the game knowing I left no stone unturned," he said.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts required a personal best to get anywhere near the dominance of Venezuela’s Yulimar Ojas in the women's triple jump at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Friday. 

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