Johnson no show

Agent withdraws Reggae Boy invitee due to lack of direct flight into MoBay

Thursday, September 05, 2019

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CATHERINE HALL, St James — The failure of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to provide a direct flight for Daniel Johnson has resulted in the Preston North End midfielder being withdrawn from the Reggae Boyz team ahead of the Concacaf Nations League (CNL) Group B contest against Antigua and Barbuda at Montego Bay Sports Complex tomorrow.

The 26-year-old Jamaicanborn Johnson, and Bobby Reid of Fulham Football Club, were the two new call-ups, who were expected to join another England-based player, veteran defender Adrian Mariappa in the Theodore Whitmorecoached Reggae Boyz squad for tomorrow's fixture, as well as the September 9 contest away to Guyana.

While Reid and Mariappa trained at Montego Bay Sports Complex yesterday, Johnson did not make the trip, as Team Manager Roy Simpson told the Jamaica Observer that the player's agent, former Reggae Boy Darryl Powell, refused to allow the player to travel to Jamaica to meet up with the team, if a direct flight had not been secured.

Simpson said he was unsure of the communication between Johnson and his representative, as the player was alleged to have told Reid and Mariappa just before they left London that he had not received an itinerary.

Former Portmore United player Chavany Willis, who is now with Bethlehem Steel in the United Soccer League (USL), has been called up to replace Johnson, but Simpson made it clear that the door was not closed on the Preston North End player.

“We had sent an itinerary and issued a ticket for Daniel, but what Darryl wanted was a direct flight from London to Montego Bay and at that time we were not able to get a seat,” Simpson told the Observer.

“Daniel was scheduled to travel on the 2nd (September) and up to hours before the departure, I spoke to Darryl via WhatsApp and he was insisting on a direct flight, and based on that, he said the player was not coming. I asked directly if the player did not get the direct flight if he would not be coming and he [Powell] bluntly said 'yes, he won't be travelling',” the manager revealed.

That said, Simpson noted that they had to move on. “But we picked up that the player really wanted to be here, but sometimes things get muddled with the professionals, who handle their affairs.

When Adrian and Bobby were coming in they said they were talking to Daniel, and he asked them if they were leaving and told them he had not gotten an itinerary, so I don't know what the communication between Daniel and Darryl was, but we had to move on, as we are on a mission.

“But that situation will not disqualify him from any future invitation, as I said to Darryl, I hope in the future we can come to a common understanding and fix certain things. Although we understand the demands of these professional players and their handlers, this time around, we have to be upfront with what we can afford them because we believe when we do that, people make a decision and we won't have certain issues,” Simpson explained.


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