'Blacka' Boyd hopes to start coaching career at Excelsior
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Former national striker Walter Boyd, now a certified coach, is eyeing plans to begin his coaching career at his alma mater, Excelsior High School, and, hopefully, discover the next Jamaican football prodigy.
Boyd, 42, last week received his certificate as an Advanced Level One coach and was among the 177 graduates of the JMMB/JFF/UTech coaching school.
In the past, Boyd, who was a member of the Reggae Boyz team that played at the 1998 World Cup in France, had expressed a desire to coach in the national senior programme.
He now says he wants to start to gather valuable experience working with youngsters before pursuing those lofty ambitions.
"My plan is to start with the younger ones to see what kind of knowledge I can impart on them and take it from there," he said. "At my school, Excelsior, I have been in some talks with them. That is where I am looking to probably start my career and gaining some experience as a coach and take it from there. Hopefully, in the long run, it would be nice to be around the national programme."
Boyd has ambitions of working with the U-13 and U-15 squads at Excelsior, but also wants to work with much younger players as well.
"I am also looking to have some fun with six- and seven-year-olds, to be there at the initial stages, just to have some input in their development," he revealed.
Among his objectives, he said, would be to discover the next 'Blacka Boyd'. Boyd and players like former national midfielder Montique Long have lamented the absence of skilful players playing in Jamaica today. A lot of that talent, Long said recently, has been lost in the pursuit of a more team-based approach to playing the game. Boyd said he wouldn't mind changing things a little.
"This is the contribution that I would like to make. I would like to be part of recognising that kind of player and being there to assist," he said. "I didn't start out as such a player, but I had potential, and along the way, I learned things, and with my determination, it just kept building. So I would like to discover the next player."
Being a coach, he said, has given him a greater appreciation for what coaches do. As an exceptionally skilled player, Boyd was notorious for not being the easiest player to coach. However, his eyes have now been opened.
"This is why I have come to appreciate the coaching school so much," said the man who during his heyday was dubbed 'Blacka Pearl'. "With all the experience I had as a player, they showed you how you can pass it (lessons from his on-field experiences) in a structured manner. I used to think that their job was simple, like I had the hard job playing up and down, but now there is so much more respect to all of the coaches."