'It's a test for us'

Whitmore says Trinidad friendly gives local-based players opportunity to shine

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Jamaica's football Head Coach Theodore Whitmore says exposure for local-based players is high on the agenda as the senior team departs today for Port of Spain, where they are to oppose Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly international on Thursday.

The game is set for the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 6:00 pm (Jamaica time).

“Right now that's the way we want to go in terms of having quality practice games. Not just to call in players to camp and then when the big games come up they are not a part of the squad. We want to give them quality games for them to improve and develop and get a taste of what playing at the highest level is all about,” Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer ahead of a practice session at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence last Thursday.

Trinidad and Tobago are preparing for the resumption of the Hexagonal Round of the 2018 Russia World Cup football qualifying campaign.

Their next encounters are against Honduras and Panama in September. The Jamaicans are not in 2018 World Cup contention.

“We have a game on Thursday and we are not going to get in the sort of work going into the game, but the few days together would have helped in some way. Players have been working very hard and we continue to work.

“You can never be too satisfied with what you have, we have to keep encouraging them. But at the end of the day it's up to them because what you put in is what you get out,” the former Reggae Boyz midfield maestro explained.

“It's preparation for the Trinidad team because they have back-to-back World Cup games coming up. It's a test for us and I only hope we can give them the sort of quality game going into their games,” Whitmore told the Observer.

Guided by Whitmore, the Jamaica team — comprising home-bred players — shocked many by finishing second to hosts United States at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The squad selected for Thursday's friendly only has a handful of members who participated at the Gold Cup, however, this game will offer fringe players the opportunity to impress the coaching staff.

Jamaica delegation:

Officials: Michael Ricketts (head of delegation), Theodore Whitmore (head coach), Jerome Waite (assistant coach), Warren Barrett (goalkeeper coach), Lamar Morgan (physical trainer), Roy Simpson (team manager), Norman Stone (equipment manager).

Squad – Amal Knight, Shaven Paul, Jamie Robinson, Ladale Richie, Javain Brown, Rosario Harriott, Alex Marshall, Kaheem Parris, Jermaine Johnson, Marvin Morgan, Vishinul Harris, Fabian Reid, Leonardo Rankine, Shamar Nicholas, Michael Binns, Ewan Grandison, Ricardo Morris, Rondee Smith

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