We're all leaders!

Sports

We're all leaders!

Boyz interim Captain Lowe says team leadership should not only be defined by the armband

BY SEAN A WILLIAMS
Deputy sport editor

Friday, December 04, 2020

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Jamaica ace Damion Lowe says leadership in a football team should not be singularly measured by the person who wears the captain's armband.

But at the same time, the person who wears it can sometimes be the most qualified leader, as is manifested in the case of Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake, Lowe notes.

Lowe — who recently moved to Egyptian top-flight outfit Al Ittihad and who made his debut in a 2-1 losing cause on Tuesday in the Egypt Cup semi-finals against Al Ahly — hinted that a “football team with multiple players with leadership qualities” will better serve the greater good as it ventures for tournament honours.

And, in his view, the Boyz have many players with exceptional on and off-field leadership abilities.

On a two-match tour of Saudi Arabia by the Reggae Boyz recently, Lowe was again handed the captain's armband, and by all indications, he led with distinction in the most difficult of circumstances.

Lowe, the son of France '98 World Cup veteran Onandi, was formally crowned skipper for the topsy-turvy tour to the Middle East after regular captain, goalkeeper Andre Blake, was unavailable due to an injury sustained in a US Major League Soccer game for club Philadelphia Union.

“It's always an honour to wear the [captain's] armband, but at the same time, you don't need an armband to lead,” Lowe told the Jamaica Observer recently.

The former Norway-based defender says regular captain, Blake, has done a tremendous job for the team over the years and is respected across the player platform.

“Andre is our captain and he leads us well, and we are satisfied with his role,” Lowe said.

In the two friendly international games against Saudi Arabia in its capital Riyadh, an ill-prepared Boyz team went down 0-3.

But three days later, with a few more training sessions under their collective belts and more seasoned players available for selection by Head Coach Theodore Whitmore, the Jamaicans rose from the ashes to give a top-quality show in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

The Boyz contingent was rocked by a combination of positive COVID-19 cases and haphazard travel arrangements which saw players arriving in proverbial bits and pieces.

“It was a mental test, as it was very difficult for all of us, but we stuck through it. The guys were very professional. We even started to joke about the situation just to lighten the moment,” Lowe said, looking back on the recent tour light-heartedly.

A player, who received inconclusive COVID-19 test results, was quarantined in London and four other members of the travelling group that were left behind in Saudi Arabia have returned home.

This is a source of genuine joy for Lowe, who on Friday joined his club in the seaport city of Alexandria.

“I'm grateful everyone is now home safe and they have recovered and that we ended the trip on a positive note,” he beamed.

Meanwhile, the former Tampa Rowdies and Phoenix Rising man says with the experience in Saudi Arabia in the rear view, the team should now look to shift gear in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers and the Concacaf Gold Cup due to kick-off next year.

“We've been a force in Concacaf for some time now, so we just want to focus on qualifying [for the World Cup] and winning the Gold Cup, which is long overdue,” Lowe ended.


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