Sport

Schaefer wants players to give all for club

Monday, March 03, 2014    

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CHRISTCHURCH, Barbados — Jamaica senior men's football coach Winfried Schaefer has implored local players to give their best for clubs even after stepping into the Reggae Boyz set-up.

The call comes against the backdrop of a perception that some players who are named for national duties tend to acquire a casual approach to local club life.

Schaefer said the onus is on footballers to continually impress their club coaches.

"I don't want to watch Portmore (United) and Humble Lion (in the Red Stripe Premier League) and two men I pick are on the bench. It's not a problem of the (club) coach, it's the problem of the player. The player has to train very hard and his life has to be professional. Nobody takes the player out when he's good," he told the Jamaica Observer.

"The players in the league have to play very good and come with good fitness to us, and not just in Jamaica, but those from overseas. I don't understand when players come with 80 per cent fitness or with no motivation. I (will) take (send) him home. When he comes to us he has to be very good and he has to play for his club," Schaefer insisted.

"The players in the league have to play very good and come with good fitness to us, and not just in Jamaica, but those from overseas. I don't understand when players come with 80 per cent fitness or with no motivation. I (will) take (send) him home. When he comes to us he has to be very good and he has to play for his club," Schaefer insisted.

The German, who recently agreed to a four-year contract after initially joining on a temporary stint in August last year, has been adamant that there should be closer ties and improved communication between local clubs and the technical arm of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

His comments will be particularly pleasing for clubs who have had to deal with bulging egos within their squads.

The senior Reggae Boyz are currently in the eastern Caribbean where, up to press time late yesterday, they were set to oppose the hosts Barbados in a Friendly match.

On Wednesday — during the official FIFA Friendly International window — the Jamaicans will be entertained by St Lucia in Gros Islet.

Schaefer, a veteran who has coached domestically in Germany and who successfully guided Cameroon over a decade ago, thanked the clubs in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) for allowing players engaging in pre-season preparation to travel for the first Friendly.

"I can see our local players and others born in Jamaica who play in the MLS. I spoke to coaches in the MLS and I say thank you to the clubs, (because) it's not normal for players to come to a Friendly match and it's not a FIFA date," he said.

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