Cameroon clash offers chance for local-based Boyz, says Ricketts
Argentina's Lionel Messi (right) gets away from Jamaica's Damion Lowe during the international friendly football match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts says the Reggae Boyz's upcoming friendly international game against World Cup-bound Cameroon presents a massive opportunity for the local-based players to impress the country's new coaching staff.

Ricketts said the match will be played in Cameroon on November 9. The date falls outside the Fifa window for international games and therefore a lot of the country's overseas-based players are expected to be unavailable due to club commitments.

According to the JFF boss, the contest against the West African side, which is to be Jamaica's Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson's second game in charge, forms a very important part of the Reggae Boyz's build-up to the 2026 World Cup qualifying tournament.

"Maybe a number of the players that participate in the Argentina game will be unavailable, but of course this is another opportunity to expose our young players and I am pretty certain that the coach will get the opportunity to look at some upcoming young players," said Ricketts.

"We are looking forward and we are just hoping that from that group the coaching [staff] will be able to extract some potential as we try to start the World Cup campaign for 2026," he said.

Ricketts said that, like the Reggae Boyz, the Cameroonians will also expect to be missing a number of their top players for the match due to overseas club commitments.

"The good thing is that this is not unique to us because the effect will be as it is with Jamaica and so too with Cameroon," he said.

The Reggae Boyz went down 0-3 to Argentina in their friendly international game on Tuesday at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Ricketts stated that despite the defeat, he was quite pleased with the performance of the Jamaicans due the fact that they only had two full training sessions before the match under Head Coach Hallgrimsson before the game.

"I think we played in patches because the first 15-20 minutes we were chasing but thereafter, I think we were very competitive," he said.

"Up to minute 85 we were only a goal down. We conceded two very late goals albeit the magic of the great [Lionel] Messi, but I think all in all, personally, I am pretty satisfied not with the result, but how we actually played, having been together for effectively two days," Ricketts pointed out.

— Robert Bailey

RICKETTS...this is another opportunity to expose our young players (Photo: Observer file)
Robert Bailey

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