Tue | May 23, 2017

Blame Schäfer for Boyz' success

Published:Monday | August 3, 2015 | 8:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

There are not very many times since the 1998 World Cup campaign that Jamaica's national football team, the Reggae Boyz, has had this heartfelt overwhelming reaction from this many fans. The Chilean Copa America exploits had come to an end for the Boyz, losing all three games played, conceding three goals and scoring absolutely none.

But, dare I say they were mighty impressive! How well we played! The organisation, the hard work, the will of the players to fight, and an astute man in charge leading from the bench.

Winnie Schäfer has not only steadied the ship, he's brought back optimism to the once very dormant Reggae Boyz. Jamaica has some of the most unforgiving fans there are, and when you begin to realise the optimism from the public and the diaspora, it is extremely heart-warming.

Throughout his tenure so far, Mr Schäfer has crafted a team that is solid defensively, organised, well drilled, expertly prepared, and very professional in going about business. Never mind the results, over the past 18 months or so, the Boyz have been privileged to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world, and I, for one, am very encouraged.

The just-ended very successful Gold Cup showing was just a warm-up to what I think will be a very strong World Cup qualifying campaign. I predicted Jamaica would win the Gold Cup, purely based on our Caribbean Cup showing and the Copa America exploits. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we'd be this stylish.

The swagger of the Boyz, smartly outfitted by Romai Sports, though falling one step short, was evident in the Gold Cup finals. We played exceptionally well.

There is cause for optimism for the Reggae Boyz once more, and there is someone to thank for that. They often say when team wins, players take the credit, but when they lose, coaches take the blame.

Well, now I lay the blame of a VERY PRODUCTIVE summer of football for Jamaica firmly and squarely at the feet of Winfried Schäfer.

THANK YOU, Mr Schäfer! Your German engineering has given a nation full of potential some optimism moving forward. A nation full of challenges often needs this type of positive vibe. The players and management staff speak highly of you. I was even more proud when I saw you singing the national anthem two Sundays ago in the Gold Cup finals. Take the blame, good sir. This one you truly deserve!

KEMOI REID

kemreid04@gmail.com