Sport

Simpson sure Boyz stand to benefit from Nations League

Thursday, October 11, 2018

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Team manager of Jamaica's senior Reggae Boyz Roy Simpson feels the Concacaf Nations League not only holds benefits for tiny members, but also for teams of better standing like Jamaica.

“From the introduction of the Nations League I have said that I think it is a good competition and I like the fact that at least Jamaica, for example, is guaranteed an international game during respective dates of the Fifa window, which is good.

“A critical component also is the continued exposure of the region's talent at the international level,” he told the Jamaica Observer recently, on the eve of the Boyz's second game against Bonaire in Curacao on Sunday.

In their opening Nations League match in Kingston on September 9, Jamaica were comfortable 4-0 winners over the Cayman Islands.

Following Bonaire, Jamaica will be at home to Suriname on November 17, then close out the qualifying of their Nations League campaign away to El Salvador on March 3, next year.

For Simpson, the benefits for Jamaica are clear, but he is particularly optimistic about what the new tournament holds for the so-called minnows of the 41-member confederation.

“I think it will certainly help the smaller, developing islands to get well-needed exposure as they will get to go up against the bigger teams of Concacaf, and for them particularly, I think it is good.

“It's just great that they, and us, can have these games in a wonderful competition. What it does also is to allow players to have games, and it allows all of us — big and small — to be active throughout the Fifa window,” he said.

Simpson believes the Concacaf Nations League — which will be contested in three tiers following the conclusion of the qualifying exercise and which serves in part as a qualifier for the prestigious Concacaf Gold Cup- will become stronger as Concacaf fine-tunes it over time.

“I think it is a competition that can only get better… as you know it's the inaugural edition, but as it goes along I expect Concacaf to continuously be looking at areas where it can improve to make the competition serve its true purpose that it was intended to,” said Simpson.

The Jamaican also hailed what he thinks to be a well thought-out format.

“I think it is a good format, too, where, especially in the qualifying stage where it's not about the winners or the runners-up of groups, but about the overall performance of the teams.

“What this does is compel countries like Jamaica to always be consistently good in all games because you want to be in that top six at the end of the qualifiers to get into the Nations League 'A' group with the bigger teams. Overall, I think it is a good competition,” Simpson ended.

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