Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall has made it clear that if players in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) are deemed good enough, they will be given opportunities in the national side.

He made his comments in a post-match interview after his side played out a 1-1 draw with El Salvador in a World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Locally-based players such as Cavalier’s Richard King, Mount Pleasant’s Daniel Green, Dunbeholden’s Atapharoy Bygrave and Waterhouse’s Ramone Howell all saw action against El Salvador and there were others among the substitutes. Hall says there is a reason they are all in the mix.

“The reason why they were in the squad is because I rate them highly,” Hall said before going on to issue a warning to overseas based players who declined the opportunity to represent the team.

“I’ve watched every premier league game this weekend and I’ve seen some really good players and it’s just a message to people that if they’re not willing to come and be a part of us, there are players in there waiting to take their places, they just need the opportunity,” he said.

There has long been a call to give more local-based players an opportunity in international football and it seems Hall is set on making that happen.

“I said to the lads that this is about opportunity. If I give somebody an opportunity, I expect them to take it to keep somebody else out of the team. That’s what it’s all about,” he said.

 

Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall has praised his team’s performance in their 1-1 draw at home against El Salvador in their CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying fixture at the National Stadium on Thursday.

Speaking after the game, Hall said his message to the team prior to the game was simple.

“I asked them to play with style. I asked them to play with a smile on their face,” he said.

They definitely heard his message, creating numerous chances with free-flowing football throughout the 90 minutes.

“They played with the ball like nobody’s business. There were triangles popping up all over the place and everybody was brave to take the ball so we’ve got to now build on that,” Hall said.

They’ll have an opportunity to build on it when they oppose Canada on Sunday before returning home to host Honduras on March 30th and Hall spoke on what he wants to see from his team in the remaining matches.

“Performance. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s all I ask the players for. I don’t ask for a win, I don’t ask them for a draw, all I say is perform because results will look after themselves,” he said.

“I just want them to play in a style that is befitting of a Jamaican team. We’re physically stronger than everybody else, we run faster than everybody else, we just need a little bit of style to our play and to make sure we’re good at the basics, then we can really fly,” Hall added.

 

 

 

Jamaica winger Leon Bailey is suggesting that Jamaica's failed world cup campaign was partly due to players in the squad who lacked the required attitude and approach.

The Aston Villa player made the suggestions while speaking with Sportsmax following Jamaica's 1-1 draw with El Salvador at the National Stadium on Thursday night in what was one of Reggae Boyz more encouraging performances of the campaign. After falling behind in the 21st minute, Jamaica rallied to equalize in the 72nd minute and had several opportunities to win the game.

Head coach Paul Hall included several local players in the squad and Bailey believes that those players exhibited the kind of attitude that was far different to that of other players who were not available for the match.

“There was too much ego in the team and I’m happy that things have been changed a little bit," said Bailey.

"We have guys who want to listen and learn and go forward. We had too many hotheads in the team, too many players who don’t like to listen. Everybody has to want to listen. Nobody’s bigger than the game.” 

Jamaica failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but Bailey says the performance against El Salvador has provided a template of how the team can move forward.

“We haven’t made it to the World Cup but tonight showed that we are a good team. We can play football and compete. I feel like we can build on this going forward. We showed a lot of character and eagerness to learn,” he said.

 

Reggae Boyz attacker Leon Bailey says he feels sharp after playing all 90 minutes of the team’s 1-1 draw in their World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday.

The visitors took the lead in the 21st minute through an Eriq Zavaleta header off a corner before the Reggae Boyz equalized in the 72nd minute through Queens Park Rangers striker Andre Gray.

“I enjoyed the game today. I think the team enjoyed the game today and it was exciting for the fans. I thought we were brilliant in defense and attack but we didn’t take the chances,” Bailey said in an interview with SportsMax after the game.

“I felt good. Haven’t played 90 minutes in a long time. There’s much more room for improvement but I feel sharp, comfortable and ready to go,” he added.

A long time is right. The Aston Villa man hadn’t played the full 90 minutes of a game since a Premier League fixture against Southampton on November 5th.

He endured a long spell on the side-lines after suffering a muscle injury against Manchester City in December.

Jamaica have two more games in the span of five days and Bailey says he’s unsure how much of a part he’ll be able to play in those.

“I’m not sure what the plan is. I’ll speak to coach and see but, obviously, as I said, I haven’t played a full 90 minutes in a long time and having three games in such a short time, we’ll have to see how much minutes I’ll be able to play in the other two games or maybe I’ll just play one game. We don’t know,” he said.

The Reggae Boyz will next take on Canada on Sunday before ending their World Cup Qualifying campaign against Honduras at the National Stadium on March 30th.

 

 

 

 

 

Reggae Boyz coach Paul Hall will use a combined camp of 18 local senior and 21 U20 players to finalise his 23-man squad to play the three final games of the World Cup Qualifiers.

Sixteen players have confirmed their participation in the games. Jamaica will play El Salvador on March 24th and Honduras on March 30th, respectively, at the National Stadium. They will also engage Canada in Toronto on March 27.   

Andre Blake, Dillon Barnes, Amal Knight, Damion Lowe, Richard King, Adrian Mariappa, Ethan Pinnock, Javain Brown, Gregory Leigh, Kevin Stewart, Devon Williams, Andre Gray, Kemar Roofe, Ravel Morrison, Jamal Lowe and Leon Bailey have all confirmed their participation in the games. 

Hall will arrive on the island on Tuesday to conduct the camp along with head coach of the Under-20s, Marcel Gayle. The Under-20s will play in the Concacaf U20 Championship in June.

The senior players selected for the camp are as follows: Amal Knight (Harbour View FC), Oshane Staple (Harbour View FC), Trayvon Reid (Harbour View FC), Jeadine White (Cavalier SC),Kenroy Campbell (Cavalier SC), Richard King (Cavalier SC), Jamoi Topey (Cavalier SC), Dwayne Atkinson (Cavalier SC), Renaldo Webster (Cavalier SC), Denardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC),Ramone Howell (Waterhouse FC), Ricardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC),Odean Pennycooke (Tivoli Gardens FC),Demar Rose (Portmore FC), Ronaldo Cephas (Arnette Gardens FC), Daniel Green (Mount Pleasant Academy), Nicholas Nelson (Molynes United FC),  Alex Marshall (HFX Wanderers).

The Under-20 players selected for the camp are: Kameron Lacey (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Jaden Chin (FC Prime), Dylan Zane (Connecticut College), Jahvar Stephenson (Future Monarchs), Christopher Pearson (Cavalier SC), Lamonth Rochester (Cavalier SC), Jerome McLeary (Cavalier SC), Cleo Clarke (Cavalier SC), Marvin Fagan (Cavalier SC), Tarick Ximines(Harbour View FC), Gavin Burton (Harbour View FC), Devonte Campbell (Mount Pleasant United), Garey Mills (Mount Pleasant United), Tajay Anderson (Mount Pleasant United), Jahneil Wray (Portmore United), Markland Burton (Portmore United), Tyrece Harrison (Vere United), Tyricke Harrison (Vere United) Gregory Cousin                (Vere United), Romain Blake (Waterhouse FC), David Edwards (Waterhouse FC).

 

 

 

 

A goal from Joel Campbell in the 62nd minute gave Costa Rica a critical 1-0 victory over Jamaica at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday night. The defeat effectively scuppers Jamaica’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

After a scoreless first half that saw Costa Rica GK Keylor Navas called into action several times, both teams dialled up more attacking postures in the second half.

In the 50th minute, Jamaica MF Devon Williams had an opportunity at the top of the box after a move down the right wing but sent his effort over Navas’ goal.

In the 61st minute, Jamaica’s stopper Andre Blake was given his turn to come through, with Kevin Stewart whistled for a penalty on Campbell. Veteran Costa Rica Celso Borges stepped up but was denied by Blake.

The celebrations on the Jamaica bench had barely concluded, however, when Campbell found the winner. Borges played a ball over the top to the 29-year-old attacker, and he took a touch with his left to move inside and beat Blake to his back post.

Jamaica manager Paul Hall modified his lineup in search of an equalizer, with one of the best chances coming in the 71st minute when Andre Gray narrowly missed a chance to apply a finishing touch to a cross toward the back post.

The Costa Rica win moves the Ticos within a point of the playoff position, pending later results.

When Costa Rica returns to action in the final window of qualification, it will host Canada, while Jamaica will be back in the National Stadium for a contest against El Salvador.

Prominent Napoli forward Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano will miss out for Mexico against Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, in the upcoming crunch World Cup qualifier, due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The match is shaping up to be a crucial fixture for both teams.  The Jamaicans still harbour hope of securing a spot at the upcoming FIFA World Cup but find themselves off the pace in 6th place, seven points behind the final qualification spot with a few games to go.  However, the Mexicans could also find themselves out of the qualifying spots if the result does not go their way, as they are currently in third on 14 points, the same amount as third-place Panama. 

With crucial points on the line, Mexico would love to have the Napoli player to call upon.  The player, however, received a yellow card in the game against Canada, in the last round, on November 16, and prior to that one against El Salvador in October.

The player has nonetheless been called up for the round of matches and is expected to feature in follow-up games against Costa Rica and Panama.

 

 General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Dalton Wint, has welcomed the implementation of Video Assistant Replay (VAR), which will be used for the final six games of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers.

Prior to this, Concacaf was one of only three nations not making use of the technology, alongside AFCON (Africa) and Oceania, and were hampered in their efforts to do so by not only technological restrictions but also due to a lack of certified officials.  With both issues rectified since the start of the year, the way is now clear for the replay system to be implemented.

In its absence, the competition has been plagued by what some believe to be high-profile refereeing errors.  Against the United States with the game tied at 1-1, Jamaica defender Damion Lowe’s header, which flew into the net 7 minutes from time, was controversially ruled out for what appeared to be very little contact with US defender Walker Zimmerman.  The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

With the country well behind on points in their pursuit of three and a half qualification spots, three points instead of one could have made a huge difference.  Wint hopes that in the future such costly errors can be avoided.

“I think it (decisions like that) is one of the major reasons CONCACAF decided to implement it.  It is really important to get the major decisions right,” Wint said of the upcoming technology upgrade.

There have of course also been times when the technology may have gone against the country notably when Lowe was himself yellow carded for a last-ditch challenge on USA player Brenden Aaronson, although the call might have been marginal at best.

“I’m all for it.  If you have the technology, then why not use it.  You can’t have it both ways, at times it may slow the game down, but it is important to try and arrive at the correct decision.”

The Reggae Boyz, who are currently in 6th place in the eight-team standings and 7 points behind the final qualifying spot, will resume their qualification campaign against Mexico on January 27th.  

 

 

 

Preparations are advancing for the Video Assistant Replay (VAR) replay system to be installed at Jamaica’s National Stadium, with a site visit expected to take place early next week.

Production and audiovisual company MediaPro, which is already in charge of broadcasting all Concacaf events, will be responsible for implementing the technology in Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama.  The other four venues, which do not have the technology installed.

The move follows up on the decision by CONCACAF to implement VAR for the region in September, but the move was held up not only by logistical considerations but also by adequately certified officials.

In recent weeks, however, football’s world governing body FIFA has accredited referees, as well as VAR assistants and managers.  Prior to that, only the United States, Mexico, and Canada had VAR officials as they were the only ones to make use of the technology in their various leagues.

Implementing the technology in Jamaica will incur an added expense as the equipment will have to be flown to the island before being installed at the country’s national stadium.  The other CONCACAF venues taking part in the Octagonal round, which do not have yet the technology, can be accessed via roadways.  The majority of the bill will be picked up by Concacaf.  Jamaica will resume World Cup qualification action against Mexico, at the National Stadium, on January 27th.

West Ham striker Michail Antonio was eager to represent Jamaica’s national team almost a decade ago but was overlooked for players in England football’s lower leagues.

Earlier this year, the England-born player was approached by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), regarding the prospect of representing the Caribbean nation, and agreed to switch nationalities.  Antonio qualifies to represent Jamaica, as both his parents were born on the island.

The striker, now 31, has confirmed, however, that it was not the country’s first attempt to recruit him and that he had in fact been contacted by the JFF while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2012.

“When I was 22, the manager of the Reggae Boyz, I can’t remember the name of him, came to Sheffield Wednesday to speak to players saying, ‘would you want to play for Jamaica?’ I said yes, I will come and play 100 percent,” Antonio said during an interview with Sport Bible.

“He said ok, I’ll give you a call, give you some information, bla, bla, bla.  He came and watched me play against Leeds that weekend.  I’m a very honest person, I had a stinker and I’m not going to lie, but I was an established Championship player.  I played in the Championship from 19 through to 25.  The next international break they were calling up players from League One and League 2, wingers, over me, which I didn’t understand,” he added.

In 2012, then president of the JFF captain Horace Burrell travelled to England along with head coach Theodore Whitmore and assistant coach Alfredo Montesso on a scouting mission to recruit players of Jamaican heritage.  Interestingly, Antonio played under Whitmore earlier this year, before the coach was fired in November.  

The player also dismissed reports that he was approached by the federation three years later while playing for Nottingham Forrest.  Insisting that neither he nor his agent ever received an offer at that point, despite claims to the contrary.

Antonio has been an instant hit since donning the country’s national colours, scoring twice in three games, which includes a 30-yard belter against the United States.  Despite the move coming late on in his career and leaving the England national team selection pool, he insists there are no regrets.

“It got to a stage where I just thought, ‘I'm not going to get called up’. I didn’t believe I was going to get the call.  There's loads of quality young strikers out there, he’s trying to build a team for the future. And that Tammy Abraham is young, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is young and Harry Kane is still quite young,” he added.

 “My mum was born in Jamaica and my dad was born in Jamaica. I went to Jamaica all the time when I was younger.  Why not try and see if we can get Jamaica to a World Cup after they’ve not been there for 20 years.

“No regrets whatsoever, I'm enjoying my football with them. And the difference with Jamaica, with England they got to the Euros final and stuff like that but with Jamaica, every achievement is a massive achievement.”  

Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall says being reactive in transition and circulating the ball quickly will allow the team to get the forwards more involved.

Jamaica has struggled offensively in their World Cup Qualifying campaign so far only managing six goals in their first eight matches.

Hall says getting the ball forward is a priority but a balance needs to be found.

“What we need to think about is a balance with everything. We need to be able to get the ball forward, obviously. We’ve been using our full-backs to get forward and try to get crosses in,” Hall said.

One approach that the team has tried is to use a target-man approach with West Ham striker Michail Antonio. This was evident in the team’s 3-0 loss to Panama on September 5.

Panama countered that approach by putting two centre backs on Antonio and essentially taking him out of the game.

Hall, however, sees progress from his team where that style of play is concerned.

“I think you’re starting to see the team take shape. The ball is going up to Michail Antonio and it’s starting to hold. He’s starting to get some players to support him. We’re able to build a little bit more,” said Hall.

When questioned about the formation of the team going forward, Hall said his emphasis will be on style rather than position.

“I like to build play. I like to get midfield players on the half-turn, playing it forward. It’s not necessarily a formation, it’s a style so whether you play 3-4-3, 3-5-2, 4-3-3, the players all know what style they’re playing in. They want to be able to play one and two-touch, circulate the ball really quickly and make it difficult for people to get close to you so it’s really important that we get the work into the players,” he said.

Hall reiterated that while it will be difficult to implement all his proposed changes in the short term, there are still some general ways his team can improve their offensive output.

“Like I said, in the short term it’s quite difficult to make that happen straight away but there are things like reacting in the transition, winning the ball back quickly and getting the ball forward as much as we can in a controlled manner and really just being attacking-based. That for me is the way how you do it,” said Hall.

The Reggae Boyz have also conceded 10 goals in their eight matches and Hall says limiting mistakes on the ball is a way to solve the Reggae Boyz defensive woes.

“We have players who can keep the ball and receive the ball in those deep-lying midfield areas. We’ve just got to make sure we create situations for us to be able to not lose the ball and focus on that. Really focus on keeping the ball,” Hall said.

Jamaica currently sits sixth in the standings in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with seven points from their eight matches.

Each team has played eight games so far with Canada atop the standings with 16 points ahead of the USA with 15.

Mexico and Panama are third and fourth with 14 each while Costa Rica is fifth with nine.

The Reggae Boyz next take on Mexico on January 27, 2022.

The top three teams at the end of 14 matches will advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup while the team in fourth will advance to a playoff against a team from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).

 

 

Paul Hall has been appointed head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz following the sacking of Theodore Whitmore earlier today, the Jamaica Football Federation has confirmed. Hall will be in charge for the remainder of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that resume early next year.

 “Bearing in mind that the World Cup campaign is still ongoing, the JFF has decided to appoint former assistant Paul Hall to lead until the World Cup cycle ends,” a statement from the JFF read.

 “The JFF wishes to thank Mr Whitmore for the work that he has put in with the team over the years."

 JFF President Michael Ricketts confirmed Hall’s appointment earlier today saying, “Paul is the new head coach. We have had discussions with Paul and he is willing and ready. Everything is in place for him to take over.”

Hall is no stranger to the Reggae Boyz. He was a member of the team that historically qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup along with other English-based players Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton and Robbie Earle.

Hall joined the coaching staff in June on a part-time basis while still being employed by the English club Queens Park Rangers.

The decision to fire Whitmore stems from a recommendation from the JFF’s Technical Committee, who voted almost unanimously to fire him after what has been a disappointing final round campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

After eight games, Jamaica has seven points and lies sixth in the eight-team table. Jamaica has only one win so far after wasting glorious opportunities to defeat the United States at the National Stadium in Kingston in November and Costa Rica a few weeks earlier.

 

 

Theodore Whitmore has been fired by the Jamaica Football Federation, Sportsmax.TV has confirmed.

West Indies Women captain, Stafanie Taylor, has warned against complacency from her team as they begin their quest to qualify for the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup to be held in New Zealand from March to April in 2022.

The Windies Women open their campaign tomorrow at 2:30am local time against Ireland in Harare and Taylor has warned against underestimating their opponents.

“That’s one thing you don’t want to do. Everyone’s here to win the competition. We’re not here to take any team for granted. We’re here to play hard cricket and come out on top,” said Taylor.

With the West Indies Women having completed a 3-0 series sweep against Pakistan prior to their arrival in Harare, Taylor says she hopes the team can carry their momentum into the tournament.

“I think we had a good series against Pakistan so I would love to see us continue where we left off from there. We’ve been playing some good cricket and getting some really good scores from our top players and even the lesser batting line up," she said.

Taylor concedes, however, that even with the team entering the qualifiers in good form there are still areas that need improvement.

“In our batting, it’s running the first one hard, turning twos into threes. In bowling, bowlers need to get early wickets and eliminate the wides,” she said.

The captain also provided some insight into the confidence of the team coming off some good results before the tournament.

“The morale is pretty good, especially seeing batters getting runs. I think that’s something that we’ve been working on because we’ve been relying on the bowling department for quite some time now so it’s really nice that the batters have been scoring those runs,” she said.

The West Indies other group games will be Saturday, November 27th against Sri Lanka and Monday, November 29th against the Netherlands with both matches beginning at 2:30am local time.

The Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers feature nine teams divided into two groups.

West Indies Women are in group A alongside Ireland, Sri Lanka and The Netherlands while group B comprises Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zimbabwe and the USA.

Papua New Guinea were also supposed to be in the field but had to withdraw after a Covid-19 outbreak within the team before boarding their flight to Zimbabwe.

The top three teams from each group will advance to the Super 6 phase and the top three teams at the end of that phase will qualify for the 2022 World Cup alongside Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and England.

 

Jamaica head coach, Theodore Whitmore, is expected to be replaced as head coach of the country’s national team with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) technical committee on Wednesday, expected to meet and make the recommendation.

Whitmore, a former national player, who was a part of the country’s historic 1998 World Cup team, was in his third stint in charge of the Jamaica squad.  The Reggae Boyz have, however, struggled in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites to do well.

After eight games the team is in 6th spot, seven places off the automatic qualification and play-off spots.  During the difficult run, which included a 3-0 home loss to Panama, the coach’s line-up choices and tactics have come into question.

Whitmore, however, has one of the best win percentages as a Jamaica coach and is only one of two to take the team to the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  According to yet to be confirmed reports, Whitmore is expected to be replaced by former England player Ricky Hill, a coach formerly at American USL Championship club Tampa Bay Rowdies.  Whitmore’s assistant Paul Hall will reportedly stay on as a part of the coaching unit.  The Jamaican team will resume its World Cup qualification with a home fixture against Mexico in January.

 

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