Boyz shuffle

Whitmore shuffles Boyz pack for Barbados test

BY IAN BURNETT
Sport Editor

Monday, August 20, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Head Coach Theodore Whitmore is expected to make at least three changes to his Reggae Boyz starting side which is slated to face Barbados here at the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Wildey Turf at 8:00 pm (7:00 pm Jamaica time) today.

The Jamaicans are coming off a comprehensive 5-1 beating of Grenada inside the Kirani James Athletics Stadium on Friday night with two goals from Peter-Lee Vassell, and one each from Daniel Green and substitute Chevone Marsh. The other goal was credited to a Grenadian player.

Arnett Gardens FC goalkeeper Damion Hyatt will start in goal ahead of Amal Knight, while club teammate Marvin Morgan, who made his senior team debut as a part of the Reggae Boyz unit which won the 2009 Caribbean Cup, and Cavalier SC's Chevone Marsh, are also expected to be included from the start. Morgan comes in for Green on the right flank, while Marsh replaced his club team-mate Alex Marshall on the left. Fabian Reid, who was somewhat below par despite his two assists on Friday night, will be shifted to an unfamiliar position of lone striker in place of Green, who suffered a knock in the game on Friday.

Vassell retains his place just behind Reid in a three-man attacking united, as will Kevaughn Isaacs and Tevin Shaw in the holding midfield positions. The back four of captain Ladale Richie and Ajeanie Talbott at centre half and Ricardo Thomas at left back and Fabion McCarthy at right back will complete the defence, with Hyatt guarding goal.

“We have to forget totally about the Grenada game now and put our full focus on the game against Barbados,” Whitmore warned yesterday, before advising of his plan to rotate players.

“We will make a number of changes going into the game tomorrow (today). Green for sure because he got a knock in the Grenada game, didn't train when we got here on Saturday, so let's seek how it goes in our final session this evening (yesterday) and then we'll take it from there.

“But I can guarantee that there will be a few changes to the starting team that played against Grenada. Definitely Damion Hyatt will start the game tomorrow (today),” he reiterated.

Whitmore provided playing time for all but one of his 18 players on Friday night, and he explained then that playing the game and gaining experience was the reason for the players being selected for the two-game tour.

Barbados were beaten 1-0 away to Belize earlier this month also as part of their preparation for the start of next month's CONCACAF Nations League.

Whitmore admitted to not knowing too much about them at this time, but was well aware that all teams are becoming very competitive and should not be taken lightly.

“There is not a lot I can say about this Barbados team, except that everybody is in preparation mode for the Nations League, so I think they should be prepared and ready, and we have to be ready for the task at hand as well.”

He also used the opportunity to identify some areas of concern which he would like to see addressed by his players in today's game.

“Closing down players much more quickly, being aware, support in and out of possession of the ball and decision-making in the final third of the field, and we need to be a bit more organised and compact regardless of the opponents,” he ended.

Squad: Damion Hyatt, Ladale Richie, Ajeanie Talbott, Ricardo Thomas, Fabion McCarthy, Tevin Shaw, Kevaughn Isaacs, Chevone Marsha, Peter-Lee Vassell, Marvin Morgan, Fabian Reid. The reserves are Amal Knight, Alex Marshall, Daniel Green, Kaheem Parris, Barrington Pryce, Ray Campbell, and Shandel Senior.

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