Sport

Coley believes Boyz will grow 'from strength to strength'

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 08, 2014    

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NEWLY APPOINTED national assistant senior team coach Miguel Coley said he "learned a lot" during his first trip with the Reggae Boyz on their recent Friendly International tour of the Caribbean.

The higher-ranked Jamaicans defeated hosts Barbados 2-0 at the National Stadium in St Michael last Sunday, before moving on to St Lucia and inflicting a 5-0 battering of the home team at the Beausejour Ground in Gros Islet on Wednesday.

"I've definitely learned a lot in terms of the ins and outs of international football and preparing for games. Working with the players has been fantastic and they have embraced me," Coley told the Jamaica Observer upon yesterday's return of the management staff and local-based players.

The Jamaican victories were the first for head coach Winfried Schaefer, who initially did a four-month stint in the latter part of 2013, before agreeing to a four-year deal in January.

While the Boyz were sloppy in possession, particularly in the first half, on an unsatisfactory surface against Barbados, they looked a better oiled machine versus the St Lucians on the carpet-like Beausejour field.

Coley, who guided Jamaica College to the schoolboy football double last season, said the chemistry within the camp was a crucial ingredient. However, he cautioned that it is early days yet.

"There was good camaraderie between the local players and the players who play in leagues abroad. We were able to score goals, no matter the (quality) of the opponents. It says a lot that we were able to score.

"All in all, it's just a start, and it's nothing to get carried away with. We have bigger assignments ahead and I think the team will grow from strength to strength," he said.

The Reggae Boyz' next scheduled Friendly game is against European outfit Serbia in the United States on May 26.

They are then set to clash with World Cup-bound Switzerland in Lucerne on May 30, before going up against former World Cup champions France in Lille on June 8.

Later in the year, Jamaica are slated to head off to Toronto to battle CONCACAF rivals Canada on September 9.

The local federation was also said to be in negotiations to face off with another top-ranked nation on June 4.

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