Ricky Hill is new technical director for Montego Bay United
Newly appointed Technical Director at Montego Bay United Ricky Hill (right) chats with Dr Dean Weatherly, one of his assistants at Wespow Park yesterday.

TUCKER, St James — Newly appointed Technical Director of Montego Bay United Ricky Hill says he sees his job as more than just helping the St James club win Premier League titles but also to help develop Jamaican players.

Hill, the former Luton Town and England player, was on Tuesday introduced to the media at a press conference held at Wespow Park in Tucker, and he said the appointment was a “return home” for him.

The former academy head at two English Premier League (EPL) clubs, Tottenham Hotspurs and Sheffield Wednesday, will take the reins at the club that was recently promoted to the Premier League, set to kick off soon.

Hill, who will have with him Dr Dean Weatherly and Dwayne Ambusley as his assistants, had been touted to take over as the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF's) technical director of junior football, and he said he had bigger ambitions.

“I am here to add all that I have, as best as I can, to the production of Jamaican football. I am not just here for Montego Bay United, that is my priority, but whilst I am here I want to develop the type of player that is going to leave Jamaica and be part of the Jamaican culture whether it be internationally, whether it be overseas with the style, the ethos and understanding that will be desired worldwide. That's my aim,” he noted.

There was no defined timeline for this project. “How long that will take, who knows?” he added. “But, as I say, I have confidence in my ability and my track record suggests that I have a good idea that I have an idea how to develop people, not only as footballers but as human beings and that is more important, in my estimation.”

Finally coming to work in Jamaica after being wooed by the JFF for about three years was a delight for Hill. “This is a return to home as this is the home of both myself and my wife's parents and grandparents, so I consider this a return to home,” he said.

He said he was grateful for the “opportunity to lead what I consider to be a talented group of young players from Montego Bay United and their return to the Premier League after a few years away”.

He also said his job would entail helping to set up an academy at the club.

“I am also here to see if we can help to produce an academy of the likes which will help to take away any kind of disruption from children's lives in terms of street crimes or anything in terms of lack of focus whereby we can provide a safe environment where they can come here,” he told members of the media.

“Enjoy the game, fall in love with the game, stay in love with the game, be taught the correct manner of how the game is played in order to use that as a stepping stone to perhaps have a vehicle to get out of the country, if that is their choice, to go study abroad or to go professionally in the major leagues throughout the world.”

Hill was confident that his experience at a higher level would help him to succeed. “My expertise is one of having worked in the EPL on two occasions in the academy roles as head of the Under-19 group, and my task was to develop young players from 16 years old through to the first team at the Premier League level at Tottenham and at Sheffield Wednesday. That task was achieved to a great degree with the players progressing to first-team football and international football as well,” he said.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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