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Second round goal! - Schäfer believes Reggae Boyz will shine at Copa Centennial

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 2:00 AMLivingston Scott
Schäfer

National senior men's team football head coach, Winfred Schäfer, says the Reggae Boyz aim to excel and make the country proud at this summer's Copa Centennial football tournament in the United States, as he believes they can qualify for the second round.

The Jamaicans were placed in Group C alongside Uruguay, Mexico and Venezuela at the competition's draw in New York on Sunday and Schäfer argues that with the best players and the right support from the football federation the team can be successful.

"Before the (2015) Copa America remember what I told (said) and many people smiled and say 'coach, what you talk'. I told I want win. I'm not going to the Copa America and Gold Cup for (a) joke," he said.

"The players have to know we can win and not only the players, the JFF too. They (JFF) have to be perfect (with preparation and accommodation) for the first match in Chicago, then to Miami and then to New York," Schäfer continued.

 

NEED SUCCESS

 

"We need service for the players ... And at the end of our matches we need success. We need our players, the best players, and I hope all our players come in very good (health). But for the team the service must be perfect, it's very important."

Schäfer said hosting at least a one-week camp will be important.

"We want one week before the players go off from the training. We had meeting with CONCACAF and they accepted what we want and we need one week for our players for tactical training, for standards of corners, free kick. It was the same for the (2015) Copa America, (the) players knew what they had to do," he assessed.

At the last two tournaments (Copa America and Gold Cup), monetary squabbles threatened to derail the team and the coach is hoping the federation and players work out all financial arrangements well in advance.

"There are two parts; one is the team, the other is the JFF. It is normal for the players coming from clubs to want the best (pay) package, the highest money. In Germany, Britain, Mexico it's all the same. So before we go to the tournament, five, six weeks before, we are clear. One day before the match I don't accept this.

"For the first match we have to be clear about the bonus arrangement. They need a meeting four weeks before and come to a result of what the JFF can do," the German added.

Schäfer, who attended the draw along with manager Roy Simpson and JFF President, Captain Horace Burrell, said their performances at last year's Copa America and Gold Cup earned them greater respect outside of the region.

"In Chile (Copa), we lost three times one-nil ... but now we have more confidence, as the last big tournament gave more confidence to us, and we got more respect from the other teams. All the teams coming to this tournament are very good teams, Jamaica too. We qualified, this is not an invitation.

"For us, this is a big tournament, and we are proud as a small island to be in one of the biggest tournaments in the world."