LEFT BACK Amari'i Bell believes the Reggae Boyz possess the ammunition to go all the way and lay their hands on the coveted Concacaf Gold Cup for the first time.
The Jamaicans came close to lifting the confederation's most prestigious trophy when they were beaten finalists in 2015 and 2017, losing 1-3 to Mexico and 1-2 to the United States, respectively.
Luton Town's Bell thinks the time is ripe for the Boyz to go one better in the 2023 edition which runs from June 24 to July 16 and is co-hosted by the USA and Canada.
"I definitely believe we have the components to win the Gold Cup when you look at our squad, which is strong… and if you look at it, we could have easily won the game against Mexico in the Nations League recently.
"As you know, they [Mexico] are a top team and expected to win the Gold Cup but we held our own against them, so we think our confidence is going to be high in the Gold Cup," he reasoned.
In the Concacaf Nation's League match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in March the teams drew 2-2.
Bell, who is riding a wave of celebration after helping Championship side Luton Town to English Premiership promotion on Saturday, says he hopes to figure in the Boyz's Concacaf Gold Cup and World Cup campaigns.
"I would definitely like to have a key role in the team for the Gold Cup and for the next World Cup campaign — and that's a goal, for everyone to qualify — so I am looking to play a pivotal role in that," he told the Jamaica Observer recently.
"The Gold Cup is something I am looking forward to, and especially after experiencing my first one [in 2021] I want to have that experience again…I know we have a good team and we can do better than we did before and I believe we can win the cup," he added with an air of confidence.
Jamaica will contest Group A of the Gold Cup with the USA, Nicaragua and a team to be determined from the preliminary tournament.
The former Blackburn Rovers man says he thinks that tactically and systematically the team has set a positive course under the guidance of Icelander Heimir Hallgrimsson.
"I believe the coach has added a new element to the squad and I think we are definitely headed in the right direction. And if you look at the recent games, we got some good results so we can only get better from here,"said Bell.
At the moment Bell is enjoying both spectrums of his first class career.
"I think this season has been a success for club and country. For my country, I think I have done well in the past games that I played and I think that has put me in a positive light with the new coaches, and hopefully that will secure selection for the Gold Cup and for the club as well by getting promotion to the Premier League so I think I have had success on both fronts," he noted.
Bell, 29, is looking to play in the Premiership and for Jamaica as long as possible as he scales football's lofty layers.
"I love playing for the country and I would want to play in the top flight and Jamaica for as long as possible," he said.
Bell, who played 49 matches for the Hatters this season, says his success at club level has triggered congratulatory notes from not only friends and family, but his Boyz teammates.
"Everybody has shown so much love because they have seen the journey over the years, and I appreciate the love everyone has shared with me. But, there is no time to rest as this is really just the beginning.
"There has been a lot coming from my Reggae Boyz teammates because everybody just wants to see each other doing well, because when one of us does well it helps the country to do well," he concluded.