Water to solve woes at JFF’s Technical Centre

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, October 30, 2012    

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THE playing surfaces at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Technical Centre will be improved with the imminent solution to the water woes at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona-based training facility, according to Captain Horace Burrell.

The local football boss, under the advisement of JFF Finance Committee chairman Leighton McKnight, said the university has promised to provide the facility with a well (water source) by the end of 2012.

"Part of the agreement (with UWI) was to let us have water. For a football field unless you have water the surface is not ever going to be what we want. We need to have that in place so we can water the field on a regular basis.

"We are working on it and in short order the water is going to be in that area. Leighton tells me that the university authorities have said by the ending of the year, so that's good news," Burrell said while addressing reporters and editors at yesterday's weekly Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.

The senior Reggae Boyz used the much-delayed facility for preparation during the just concluded semi-final phase of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, but onlookers were unimpressed with the rough, uneven nature of the surface and the noticeable incline on one side of the park.

The training centre, which is so far funded to the tune of US$900,000 under the FIFA Goal Programme, could have a revolutionary impact on the technical infrastructure in the island.

In its current state, the Technical Centre is a start for the Federation, but still leaves the country short of having a first-rate practice facility, despite attempts made under respective administrations led by Burrell and later, Crenston Boxhill.

The travails began in 2003 when FIFA president Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter was in Jamaica to break ground at a chosen site in Portmore, St Catherine.

That location was later abandoned by the the Boxhill administration which opted to take the project to Malvern, St Elizabeth.

The project was later condemned by then FIFA vice-president Austin 'Jack' Warner at a visit to the location in 2007 and the UWI Mona campus was eventually announced as the new site.

Now in his second tenure, Burrell is adamant the development of the facility is heading in the right direction.

"We have a Goal Project committee... headed by Major General John Simmonds and it has members of the university community on it.

"We have started to purchase water and have had water trucks go there periodically. We have a caretaker ensuring that everything is fine and we are working on it.

"As soon as the water comes from that major project then you will see a whole different ball game," he said.



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