One of the first things that Rudolph Speid wants to get done as he gets set to head up the Jamaica Football Federation’s Technical Committee is to see the organisation’s teams better prepared for each opponent they come across.

According to Speid, who along with Dennis Chung, were appointed to the JFF board on Tuesday, a lack of resources within the JFF was used too often as a crutch by the organisation’s administrators and he intended to stop it.

“We know we have to work within the resources that we have but a lot of the times we throw up our hands and don’t go all the way because of a lack of resources. Those are some of the things that we have to try and eliminate,” said Speid after the press conference where he was appointed.

Chung was chosen to lead the organisation’s Finance Committee.

Speid, former head of the Kingston & St Andrew Football Association and JFF Treasurer, said he believed the teams went into games with less than the information about their opponents than they should have.  

“A lot of the times I don’t think we analyze our opponents properly,” he said.

The job of doing this analysis, Speid believes, falls to the Technical Committee and the act could make all the difference to the success of the country.

“That is something that we’re going to be doing going forward and on a regular basis so we have a better understanding,” he said.

Speid also indicated that there was much to be done by the Technical Committee if its tenure was to be successful.

“Yeah, it is a lot of work if we do it properly but I am committed to doing it properly,” he said.

Speid is also president of the Red Stripe Premier League outfit, Cavalier SC.

Hubert Busby, who had the unfortunate task of leading the Reggae Girlz in their failed bid for a place at the Tokyo Olympics this month, believes that despite the obvious regression since a historic World Cup berth last year, there is hope for the future of the programme.

According to Busby, while investment in the Reggae Girlz is important, even more focus should be paid to the younger members of the programme, to the youth.

“I do think there needs to be some true strategic planning and putting things in place that are vitally important, not just for the [senior] women's programme, but the youth programme as well,” said Busby in an interview with Jamaican newspaper The Jamaica Observer.

According to Busby, he would want to continue as Reggae Girlz head coach, saying he would be honoured were the conditions right.

The conditions certainly were not right when Busby led the team into the final round of CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers, with the Reggae Girlz going down 1-0 to Mexico before receiving a 9-0 thrashing from Canada. There was some joy for the Reggae Girlz though, as their final game of the round was a 7-0 demolition of St Kitts & Nevis.

“Obviously if the conditions are right and there's a serious collaborative effort for the programme to progress, obviously I would once again be honoured to lead my country in this role,” he said.

The Reggae Girlz had one camp ahead of the qualifiers, largely because the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the coaching staff which took the Girlz to the World Cup, were at war.

Head coach Hue Menzies had resigned and his assistant Lorne Donaldson, who should have been a shoo-in for the top job, had enough reservations that his employers ultimately went in another direction with Busby. Donaldson consequently resigned having not known what his position with the team was.

“If you truly look at other national teams and how far they've come, all you have to do is look how much investment has gone into the youth programmes to see what comes through. So I'd love to be a part of the solution to make that happen in Jamaica, and look at how we can kind of formulate and work with those local coaches and the director of football and the federation to figure out how we continue to develop players on the island who are ready to play at international level,” said Busby.

The Jamaica Football Federation’s issues with the Reggae Girlz and who should coach them are not yet over with the Sunday night announcement that veteran coach, Lorne Donaldson has quit.

According to reports in the media, Donaldson left his post as Reggae Girlz assistant coach with immediate effect.

His resignation letter suggests the reason for the resignation falls in line with an earlier parting of the ways, by his boss, Hue Menzies.

"This decision is primarily based on the questionable integrity and lack of professionalism within the leadership of the JFF," said Donaldson, who is also executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer.

Menzies had resigned, suggesting the JFF were not professional in handling contract negotiations.

Donaldson, who was seen as frontrunner to take Menzies place had said he would not take the head coach job unless things changed.

Now he wants nothing to do with the job completely.

The resignation also comes days after the JFF announced an interim head coach appointment for Hubert Busby, who had been the Reggae Girlz goalkeeping coach.

There was also the appointment of long-time Boys’ Town coach Andrew Price as an assistant, as the Reggae Girlz take on the second round of Olympic Qualifying next month.

Donaldson’s letter did not make mention of the fact that an assistant was hired while he was substantively in that role but his last tour with the women’s programme was to hold a training camp for under-17 and under-20 Reggae Girlz last month.

Before that Donaldson took up head coaching during the Reggae Girlz successful first round of Olympic qualifying, while Menzies took time off.

Here is Donaldson’s full resignation letter

Dear Mr. [Michael] Ricketts:

After careful consideration, I must immediately tender my resignation from all duties associated with the Jamaica Football Federation women’s program. This decision is primarily based on the questionable integrity and lack of professionalism within the leadership of the JFF.

I’m honored to have served Jamaica’s football community for over 45 years and will continue to do so in many capacities. However, I will not in clear conscience, continue to work for an organization that blatantly disregard the sacrifices of the coaching staff and the Reggae Girlz. As coaches, we have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, but jointly we successfully led our women’s senior team to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup in history. This was a tremendous feat and one for which we should all be incredibly proud.

I thank the JFF, Hue Menzies and my peers, Reggae Girlz Ambassador, Cedella Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation who were instrumental in bringing financial support and reviving awareness through social media about the plight of the Reggae Girlz. I also thank members of the Reggae Girlz Foundation, our many sponsors and the Jamaican supporters worldwide for their unwavering support.

Most importantly, I sincerely thank all members of the Reggae Girlz teams for their dedication and commitment while overcoming adversity in challenging conditions as without them these accomplishments would not have been possible.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

Reggae Girlz assistant coach Lorne Donaldson believes the women’s programme in Jamaica has taken a hit with the departure of World Cup qualifying coach, Hue Menzies.

Menzies, on Tuesday, announced his intention to leave the programme after disputes with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) seemed not to have a resolution in sight.

According to Menzies, the JFF has not paid money due to him in his contract, failed to communicate with him regarding a new contract after his expired in August, and have not reimbursed him for expenses incurred on the job.

Donaldson, himself, has said he would be unwilling to take up the top post, coaching the Girlz, unless there were guarantees that some of the issues Menzies spoke about were addressed.

“Menzies not being around puts a hole in the programme; the staff is really bummed because we did a lot of work within the last five years, some of it is work done behind the scenes that people don't know about, and we scraped and fought with these kids. So Hue not being around is a big setback for this programme,” said Donaldson.

The executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer also believes there is a lot of uncertain surrounding the programme with just a couple of months to go before the Reggae Girlz take on the final round of Olympic Qualification.

“The crucial stage of the Olympic qualifiers is coming up, but we already messed that up because we had a game against the USA and we didn't take the game. We would have played the number one team in the world and we didn't take the game, so all this stuff is a setback for us,” said Donaldson.

“Now we missed the FIFA window; no games and I don't know when we are going to have any friendly games or camps because everything seems to be very difficult. I know Costa Rica wants to play us in January, and that's kind of late, but Costa Rica is still waiting for them to respond, so I don't know,” he said.

Still, Donaldson believes there is much promise in the Reggae Girlz programme and wants to ensure that that promise is fulfilled.

“We are going to concentrate on the players because we actually owe it to them. [Hubert] Busby and I, we made a commitment to some of the parents and players for the U-20s and U-17s,” said Donaldson.

“Again, it is going to be difficult trying to do the U-17s and the U-20s because nobody seems like they are interested on that side. There is interest elsewhere, but we have to find the right people who want to see women's football succeed in Jamaica. Right now it is not happening,” he said.

Assistant coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz, Lorne Donaldson, does not want to step into the vacancy left by the departing Hue Menzies if women’s football in the country is treated the same way it has been.

Despite numerous successes in recent times, Reggae Girlz head coach, Hue Menzies has decided he can no longer continue in his capacity after a protracted dispute did not seem to be coming to an amicable solution.

Tarania Clarke, who recently represented Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz during the Olympic Caribbean qualifiers, was stabbed to death in Kingston on Thursday.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts insists the association was taken aback by the threatened protest action of members of the women’s national team, who are still owed money from the Women's World Cup campaign.

Several senior members of the country’s history-making World Cup squad, including Bunny Shaw, Havana Solaun, Toriana Patterson, Allyson Swaby and Lauren Silver, took to social media to air their grouses.

Under a banner declaring No Pay, No Play, the girls posted:

“This is an issue that goes simply beyond “getting paid.” It’s about the girls following in our footsteps. It’s about leaving something better off than when you found it. We signed contracts and have yet to be paid.”

  

According to Ricketts, however, the JFF had been in contact with members of the team regarding FIFA’s late disbursement of funds owed to the JFF, which prevented the payments being made on time“We have been in contact with the girls.  We wrote to them last week expressing our dissatisfaction with how things have unfolded.  Up until now, we have not yet received funds from FIFA,” Ricketts said in an interview with SportsMax Zone.
“We advised the girls that FIFA had indicated to us that the money would be made available at the end of September.  The World Cup ended in July, we certainly thought that we would have got that money, maybe a month thereafter,” he added.

“We wrote to FIFA on the 16th of July making inquiries about the payment and we were advised then that the money would not be paid until the end of September.  We wrote to the girls and we apologized profusely for it and asked that they bear with us and try and understand the situation.”

Ricketts revealed that the original plan was to pay the team at the end of August and that the organisation had made arrangements to pay the women’s team half of what was owed to them.  According to the JFF boss, the process for that payment, which began last week is expected to be completed later this week.

“We really don’t want to be in a fight with the girls.  We would love to amicably and quickly settle this issue so we can go on with the business of football. I honestly thought that they would have understood the situation.”

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is likely to face a fine, in addition to a bill for reimbursement, after the embarrassing fiasco that forced the team to withdraw from the CONCACAF U-15 Championships last week.

The Jamaicans were originally slated to compete in Group D, alongside Costa Rica, Portugal and Barbados.  The team was, however, forced to pull out of the tournament as not enough players were able to acquire US visa in time.

According to JFF General Secretary Dalton Wint, the organization was unable to secure emergency visa appointments for most of the team, following the US Embassy’s inability to handle the request.   Wint explained that the reason given was that the embassy was short-staffed during the Independence Day holiday period.  Only five of the 21 players held valid travel documents. 

Based on CONCACAF statues the JFF could be in hot water.  The regulations state that ‘if a team withdraws before the start of the competition, they will be fined US$10,000’. The Jamaica Football organizing body could also foreseeably be asked to reimburse CONCACAF and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for any costs incurred as a result of its proposed involvement or eventual non-involvement.

Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hue Menzies said his players have managed to put the weekend’s travel mishaps behind and are settling in nicely before Tuesday’s final World Cup warm-up match against a tough Scotland unit on Tuesday.

Two-time Gold Cup finalist Jamaica will become the first Caribbean country to host a Gold Cup match when the tournament gets under way later this year.  The Caribbean nation will host two matches in the expanded tournament.

Football governing body in Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, has mandated that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) make the country’s top-flight football league a little more efficient. 

It promises to be business as usual for the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) this weekend as JFF referee’s department manager Victor Stewart has confirmed the officials will be available for the fixtures.

Only one of the six games scheduled for the RSPL’s round of 18 matches were played as the unavailability of officials led to the postponement of other fixtures planned.

Stewart pointed to injuries of some match officials as a contributing factor to the personnel shortage.  He also mentioned the fact that referees had not been paid in two months and disrespect of officials buy club administrators as other major causes for concern. Stewart was confident this weekend, however, that the officials would return to the pitches as the body would be able to field second-tier officials.

“Those referees that are in the second tier will be available once we give them adequate notice and they are on standby,” Stewart told the SportsMax Zone.

“We will give them adequate notice and should be sending out the appointments for Sunday’s round of games,” he added.

Victor Stewart manager of the Jamaica Football Federation’s referee’s department is adamant that the body has drawn a red line when it comes to abuse meted to the group from club officials.

Recently, the unavailability of officials for round 18 of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) meant that only one of six scheduled games was played.  While not admitting to planned strike action from the officials, Stewart pointed to several issues that plagued the body in recent times.

Stewart pointed to issues of inadequate compensation a major bone of contention but also pointed to recent incidents in which he believes appointed match officials were disrespected by club representatives.

“We will accept at any time the abuse from the spectators because its emotional and in some cases stems from ignorance but when administrators and club officials throw personal abuse at match officials that is a hard one to swallow,” Stewart told the SportsMax Zone.

“When you refer to a referee as a burro (donkey), so to speak, in front of the public you are sending a message to your players, so that leads to further abuse and disrespect,” Stewart said about a recent game that involved the management of RSPL club Cavalier.   

Stewart also referenced a game in Mount Pleasant, where FIFA referee Kevin Morrison had to be given a police escort from the venue after giving a penalty for a handball offence.

“These are some of the things that are facing us and we want the public to know that.”

 

 

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.