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Boyz enjoy lively opening training session

Friday, October 06, 2017

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The Reggae Boyz took to the pitch for the first time yesterday since they arrived here ahead of tomorrow's FIFA-designated “training” match.

Veteran defender Jermaine Taylor, as well as Oniel Fisher, Shaun Francis and striker Romario Williams, arrived at the team's base just after midday yesterday, but New York Red Bull left-sided wing back Kemar Lawrence did not make the trip from New York. The Jamaica Observer could not ascertain a reason for Lawrence's absence.

All 19 players took to a training pitch outside the luxurious King Abdullah Sports City (Stadium) for a 6 o'clock training session, which appeared lively and fun-filled, but closely monitored by the technical staff which was quick to rein in any signs of over-exuberance.

“A very interesting game and looking forward to a good performance from the team,” Head Coach Theodore Whitmore said.

“We all know that the Saudis have been looking forward to the World Cup and we have to give a good account of ourselves for a number of reasons.

“We want to improve in certain areas, and we want to give our young players who ply their trade at home a quality practice game and a quality experience,” the former Reggae Boy star player added.

The Boyz will take to the match venue for a 7:30 pm (11:30 am Jamaica time) training session today, but an hour earlier the Saudi Arabian King's (Salman) representative will make a presentation to the Jamaican delegation at the hotel's lobby.

— Ian Burnett