Reggae Boyz support staff gives players' fitness thumbs upWednesday, September 08, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The Reggae Boyz are in good physical condition for today's pivotal Concacaf World Cup qualifier against hosts Costa Rica, according to Jamaica's medical staff.
The match is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm (Jamaica time) at the National Stadium in San Jose.
The encounter will be the third for the Boyz inside seven days during a hectic international window. Jamaica lost 1-2 to Mexico in Mexico City last Thursday, before a 0-3 defeat to Panama in Kingston on Sunday.
One plus for the Boyz is that Head Coach Theodore Whitmore almost fully rotated his squad for the first two games.
“We've had a fairly good run on this tour of duty. We've been able to keep individuals injury-free and those who have come with niggles we've been able to treat them successfully, so presently there have been no illness or injury concern and we are ready,” team doctor Derrick McDowell told the Jamaica Observer before the team's late-evening training session yesterday.
“We have a very strong team, including doctor, physiotherapist, massage therapists, physical trainers and also a psychologist. My role has been to diagnose injuries, treat illnesses and keep the team coordinated, and there's a programme to also helping players' recovery after flights and training,” McDowell explained.
Lamar Morgan, one of the two physical trainers with the team, noted the schedule has proven to be challenging.
“It has been difficult for the boys because of the three games that are scheduled within seven days. However, the support staff has been working assiduously to ensure the coach has his full squad to choose from,” he said.
“Fellow trainer Jason Henry and I ensure that we track the player's workload after each training session, so the coaches can plan their technical and tactical sessions to coincide with our plan and not have the players being overworked. I must say it has been a collective effort from everybody, including the medical team,” Morgan told the Observer.
For the Costa Rica assignment, the Jamaican federation enlisted the services of physiotherapist Dr Kevin Christie, masseurs Rory Rhoden and Devin Lawson, sport psychologist Nicholas Powell, as well as the two physical trainers and team doctor.
The Reggae Boyz are at the base of Concacaf final-stage qualifying league, which comprises eight teams playing in a round robin, home and away format, without a point.
Costa Rica, who lost 0-1 at home to Mexico on Sunday, are seventh with one point.
Mexico lead with six points, followed by Panama (four), Canada (two), Honduras (two), United States (two), and El Salvador, who are also on two points.
The top three teams in the table will progress automatically to the 2022 World Cup, with the fourth-place finisher heading to an intercontinental play-off for one more spot in Qatar.
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