U-17 coach Edwards oozing confidence
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Coach of Jamaica's Under-17 male team, Andrew Edwards, is confident they will advance easily to the next stage at the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-17 World Cup qualifiers set to start this afternoon at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Trench Town, St Andrew.
"We are very confident we will advance to the next stage as we expect to win the group easily," Edwards told The Gleaner yesterday morning.
Jamaica bow into action against the US Virgin Islands at 7 p.m., three hours after the opening Group One game featuring Guadeloupe and The Cayman Islands.
Although Jamaica failed to play any international friendly games ahead of the qualifiers, Edwards believes the boys are ready for the challenge.
"We are comfortable that we have done our best in pre-paring for the tournament," Edwards said. He added that, historically, Jamaica have done well in this regional competition, but they won't take anything for granted.
Edwards, who spent five months away on a coaching course in Germany and returned about three weeks ago, said the other coaches have selected a strong group of players.
"In my absence, the other coaches - such as Vin Blaine (JFF director of football), Wendell Downswell and Omar Edwards - have done a good job," the Under-17 head coach noted.
Looking at the squad, Edwards added: "We do have players in the squad who exhibit great potential such as Ajeanie Talbott, Hakim Williams, Alex Marshall, Justin McMaster and Donovan Dawkins."
Admission to the games is free and coach Edwards is encouraging football lovers to turn out and support the team in a positive manner.
"There is no way we can underestimate support from the fans," he stated.
The full squad: Akeem Chambers (St Jago High), Javain Brown (Kingston College), Donovan Dawkins (Tivoli Gardens High), Delverone Simpson (Manchester High), Ryan Knight (Clarendon College), Fabian Grant (Camperdown High), Michael Edwards (St Mary Technical), Jahwahni Hinds (Calabar High), Nicholas Nelson (Hydel High), Alex Marshall (St George's College), Clive Jarrett (Dunoon Technical), Ronaldo Watson (Jamaica College), Jahmali Waite (JC), Hakim Williams (Calabar), Deshane Beckford (Rusea's High), Tajea Brown (Camperdown High), Justin McMaster (Hillel Academy), Tavon Barnes (Rusea's), Charles Grant (Muschett High) and Ajeanie Talbott (JC). The assistant coach is Omar Edwards.