Girlz urged to look ahead as Coach Blaine walks away
Embattled head coachof the Reggae Girlz VinBlaine serves noticeof his departure fromthe position.(Photo: Observer file)

With the issue of Vinimore “Vin” Blaine leaving the interim Reggae Girlz head coach post all but confirmed, the consensus is for the programme to pick up the pieces and move on.

Chair of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Women’s Committee Elaine Walker-Brown, and publicist Carole Beckford, both argued that the issue now needs to be rested and a new coach appointed to focus on the July 4-18 Women’s Championship assignment in Mexico.

Both comments came after Blaine, who in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, expressed uncertainty about his future with the programme, gave his clearest indication on Monday that he will step away from the programme, though he is yet to hand in his resignation letter to the JFF.

His decision came even after appearing to have gained the JFF’s confidence in the saga which saw 20 players sign a two-page letter calling for his removal.

However, a player, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Observer that the team wanted to meet with Blaine to know what was next, as they have been “emotionally drained” by the situation, and just wanted to move forward.

Speaking to local media, Blaine said he had already decided that he would resign, so there was no need for a meeting. He said his decision was made with the team and country’s best interests after heart.

In the letter, which came to the fore just over two weeks ago, the players cited, among other things, a lack of confidence in the technical acumen and leadership style of Blaine and his assistants, which the players find to run counter to what is required to take them to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.

The players criticised Blaine’s lack of communication and professionalism, including the absence of daily schedules and absence of staff without explanation. They also slammed the staff’s tactical preparation and the absence of specific preparation before matches.

Blaine denied the allegations made by the players, who he believes were being spurred by outside forces.

BLAINE...says he is leaving in the best interest of the country (Photo: Joseph Wellington)<strong id="strong-1"> </strong>

The JFF board, in their response to the controversy, accepted the recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee to continue with Blaine and his staff, pointing to insufficient evidence to support the concerns expressed by the players in their letter.

President of the country’s governing football body Michael Ricketts told the Observer he was unable to comment on Blaine’s resignation until discussions are held with the coach.

When contacted, General Secretary Dalton Wint said he was oblivious to the coach’s intent as they are yet to get any official word from Blaine.

Walker-Brown, who expressed that Blaine deserved to stay, welcomed the fact that he placed the country first in arriving at his decision.

“Despite the fact that Vin is leaving he will do so with nothing to lose because he has decided to leave in the interest of the country. I think he was deserving of staying, but he placed the country first, so it doesn’t affect the programme because in situations like these you would have some persons who wouldn’t want to take orders from him.

“So, we had an idea that he was going to leave but he wanted some time to think about it and we are still one hundred per cent behind him and we wish him all the best,” Walker-Brown, a member of the Technical Committee, told the Observer.

She pointed out that briskly shaking off the controversy and appointing a new coach should now be the way forward.

“We just have to put down the negative and focus on the positives. We need to find a coach and we are trying to find the best persons to do the job so we can move on and build on it (the success). It’s all about the players and the country so we just have to put the negative behind and move forward with the focus being on July,” said Walker-Brown.

Publicist Beckford concurred.

“I think Vin just thought that if the team doesn’t want him then why stay, and the JFF now needs to put plan B into action and get going because we have some important matches coming up.

“These things happen at the elite level so I don’t want us to spend too much time on it. He has decided to go, so we should just move on,” Beckford said.

She also had a word for individuals who are aiming to bring the senior women’s programme into disrepute.

“It’s not like a high school where the principal says the football coach has to stay. This is a national team, so people who are out to disrupt the activities of the national programme should not think this is okay. Coaches come and go, but the national programme is here to stay, so no petty squabbles should be involved, and if it is, it should be managed,” Beckford argued.

BECKFORD...I think Vin just thought that if the team doesn’t want him, then why stay
Sherdon Cowan

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