Letters to the Editor

Football - let the best man play or coach

Tuesday, October 23, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica, with the help of the USA, narrowly made the final round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. This is an achievement worth celebrating because we are now only one round away from qualifying for Rio, Brazil. For the team to negotiate this round successfully, its strengths and weaknesses must be assessed and that's the job of the experts at the JFF and the team management.

Happily, I'm not charged with that responsibility and I'm not an expert, but many fans may agree with this partial assessment. The team's stark weakness seems to be its inability to convert goal-scoring chances. This weakness has dogged the Reggae boys for some time evidenced by poor scoring performances in previous World Cup qualifiers, especially in away matches. Our team has failed several times to negotiate World Cup qualification successfully since 1998.

Is there any quality Jamaican footballer capable of filling this gap, able to play this goal-scorer role? The natural place to start looking would be our local premier league. One Mr Anderson from Waterhouse has topped the local football league in goal scoring with an impressive number of goals for the last two seasons. It is safe to say he knows his purpose and is skilled at his craft - scoring goals. It seems only natural since we are not blessed with an abundance of goal scorers like we are with sprinters that we will at least be using the best our football league offers.

Is there any quality Jamaican footballer capable of filling this gap, able to play this goal-scorer role? The natural place to start looking would be our local premier league. One Mr Anderson from Waterhouse has topped the local football league in goal scoring with an impressive number of goals for the last two seasons. It is safe to say he knows his purpose and is skilled at his craft - scoring goals. It seems only natural since we are not blessed with an abundance of goal scorers like we are with sprinters that we will at least be using the best our football league offers.

Please, JFF, let us find and use the goal scorers available to us. Mr Anderson has at least earned a place in the line-up for our next international friendly match. Let's create the opportunity to show and reinforce that stalwarts of our premier league like Mr Anderson of Waterhouse Football Club and Mr Hue of Harbour View Football Club and a few others have a place in representing us internationally.

Sadly, it smacks of being disingenuous if the best players of our Premier League find it difficult to secure a place in our national outfit. I can agree that there are compelling arguments to support or oppose the inclusion of many players, and I'm not averse to listening to such views. Nevertheless, as the body vested with football development in Jamaica, it is fair to warn the JFF that the exclusion of those who have excelled in our local game will stifle football development locally.

Do not leave our local players with the notion they are the last to be considered for the job of national representation, despite outstanding performances. Let the best man play or coach (Big up, Tappa), if he can, whether locally or internationally based. These are the opinions of at least two Reggae Boyz fans, Sean MockYen and I, and I suspect there are many more.

Kwasi Tinglin

Spanish Town, St Catherine

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