Whitmore leads successful coaches of Concacaf B Licence course


Whitmore leads successful coaches of Concacaf B Licence course

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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As the plea for better-quality football increases in Jamaica, so does the need for more qualified coaches to meet this demand.

Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore and 18 others understand that much and as such dedicate their time and efforts to continue to elevate their status, which in turn is expected to elevate the football standard in the island.

Those 19 coaches were yesterday presented with certificates, becoming the first in Jamaica and the region to gain a Concacaf B Licence, the highest certification offered by the confederation.

This followed their completion of a gruelling three-tier course, which started in Jamaica June 2018 and was a pilot programme executed by Concacaf.

The Concacaf B Licence coaching course, fashioned off the UEFA standard, aims to provide coaches with the competences to lead players and the team in all aspects of development and competition; design strategies to manage and improve their football environment; collaborate with staff in planning and preparation for long-term player development and the appropriate level of competition; and use game analysis to plan and deliver a training session and to coach a team through a match.

Andre Waugh, Concacaf's Caribbean development manager who was among 25 participants in the coaching course, lauded the achievement of the 19 coaches, and Whitmore in particular.

Whitmore, who scored two goals during Jamaica's lone appearance at the Fifa World Cup Finals in France in 1998, carries the hope of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to have a home-grown coach lead the Reggae Boyz to another appearance at the global showpiece.

“From where I sit at Concacaf and more so because I'm a Jamaican, I'll continue to give as much support as I can to ensure that our dream of returning to the World Cup becomes a reality. And not just return to the World Cup, but return to the World Cup with a team that is coached by a Jamaican,” Waugh said in his address during the presentation ceremony at the JFF offices yesterday.

Waugh reiterated that continuous coach education is vital to football development, and as such encouraged the coaches to remain rooted in understanding the principle of the game and to be passionate about raising the level of football in the country.

“There are so many boys and girls in this country whose dream is wrapped up in us being able to go out there every day and give them a good chance to succeed and maximise their talent,” Waugh, the former technical director for Portmore United, stressed.

He continued: “The certificate cannot be something that you have, but yet when you go there you continue to be the same, regular coach. You have to walk differently, have to speak different, you have to dress different — and you have to recognise that you are the change.

“Don't worry about the things that you can't change. The things that we can change, we have to ensure that we do them well. Lead, manage, plan and prepare and ensure that we teach to the best of our abilities. And that's how we will make change in this country.”

Finally, Waugh, who was also once the Reggae Boyz's physical trainer, pointed out that all is not lost for the six coaches who did not succeed in the course on this occasion.

“It was a real tough course and for us, it's not about who passed or who failed. For us, it's more about how can we take you from where you are and get you to where you need to be. People learn at different rates, and so it's not that we are done with them and we are going to cut them off; there is a plan to get them to that next level,” he shared.

Meanwhile, JFF President Michael Ricketts also lauded Whitmore and his colleagues on the accomplishment, but was reluctant to say if missing out on certification would affect a coach's role in the national programme.

It is understood that senior Reggae Boyz Assistant Coach Jerome Waite and Hopeton Gilchrist, who guided the Under-17 male team at the Concacaf Championships earlier this year, are among the unsuccessful candidates of the course.

“There are some other coaches who would have missed out. We want to have them reprogrammed, refocused, and then certainly give them another chance.

“We have to look at that [their role in national programmes], but we don't want to treat it as a pass or fail. We just want to take it that some persons would have gotten through this time and then we want to incorporate them in another group and certainly have them prepared,” Ricketts reasoned.

Coaches: Theodore Whitmore, Wayne Campbell, Dane Chambers, Sheldon Davis, Donovan Duckie, Wendell Downswell, Omar Edwards, Marcel Gayle, Xavier Gilbert, Merron Gordon, Leacroft Lettman, Lamar Morgan, Andrew Peart, David Pryce, Rudolph Speid, Alex Thomas, Shavar Thomas, Andre Waugh, and Vassell Reynolds

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