NATIONAL senior men's football team Head Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson says he does not have a specific policy regarding unattached players in his squad.
Hallgrímsson announced his 23-man squad for Jamaica's final Concacaf Nations League against Mexico, including Ravel Morrison who is now without a club after being released from DC United recently.
Adrian Mariappa was also unattached when called up for this squad but signed for Salford City in England's League Two on Thursday.
Although Hallgrímsson has been on the job for six months, unattached players being called up is not an unusual occurrence. It was also a common public criticism of former Head Coach Theodore Whitmore as fans accused him of selecting players who were believed to not be playing football regularly.
But Hallgrímsson says that his policy is to make selections based on the type of matches the team is playing.
"We go for the things we know when we select for a camp like this one against Mexico," he said during a virtual press conference on Monday. "We go for the certainty of players playing at the highest level. But when we play matches like Mexico, we have more flexibility in looking at players who, maybe, we don't know too much about. It's difficult to see matches, for example, of Delano Splatt, or Tyler Roberts, so we call them in because we have heard and we have scouts, and we have maybe one or two youth matches they have played that we're looking at.
"The same with 'Whisper' [Dujuan Richards] — he hasn't played a senior football game. So, it's kind of difficult to evaluate the players to the senior standard at the international level.
"Unattached players, of course, in a national team it's difficult to select them so we have in this camp Mariappa and Ravel, who are not playing at the moment. They are looking for clubs and we then selected them for the camp against Trinidad so we can see them and evaluate their fitness, et cetera. It's different reasons for different players all the time so it's not like there's one rule about unattached players."
Jamaica's last goal came from Justin McMaster in a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in November. He last played for Minnesota United 2 in Major League Soccer's Next Pro league in the United States of America's third division in 2022.
Hallgrímsson says despite his exclusion from the squad, he is still being watched by the technical staff.
"The best we know is he's trying to find a club," Hallgrímsson said. "We've been trying to follow up on him but he's not [been] forgotten at all — and if he can score for us, of course we wanna have these guys on board. But we'll see where his career lies so he's not forgotten."
The Reggae Boyz are to face Mexico at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Sunday at 7:00 pm Jamaica time.
- We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
- Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
- We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
- Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
- Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: email@example.com.