Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Follow The Trace: Sleeping on the job

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The inept and ineffective methods of current Reggae Boyz head coach Winfried Schaefer are becoming more apparent with every tick of the clock.

His zero rating in the areas of player development and talent discovery is only valid because there is no lower rating than zero.

Schaefer's obvious disdain for local-based Jamaican players has become disrespectful, disheartening, and discouraging to the development of local football.

In the early days of his tenure, talk was rife from those close to the team - players and fellow coaches included - that Schaefer was weak and ineffective as a coach.

My inclination was always towards patience and giving the coach a fair chance.

Not being initially exposed to the intricate details of the German's coaching substance and style, I maintained that we should give the coach time to acclimatise to the Jamaican culture and the psyche of the Jamaican people before passing judgement.

Three years on, and finally I am convinced that Schaefer is as lightweight a coach as they come.

Having had reason to be closer to the action and indeed paying closer attention to the coach and his management of the current World Cup campaign, he is actually much worse as a coach than I could have possibly imagined. Outside of his tactical nonchalance, as exposed by his inept handling of the crucial six-pointer against Costa Rica, his worst weakness continues to be his inability to identify talent.




He continues to show no faith or conviction in the ability of local-born and based players. Even his token selections have been treated like excess baggage. Case in point, Montego Bay United forward Allan Ottey, who has been a passenger with the senior team for the last 10 or 15 internationals but has had one substitute appearance of less than 15 minutes.

Ottey himself is hardly the top player in Jamaica at the moment, not by any stretch of the imagination, which again points to Schaefer's random unpredictability.

Another clear indicator that Coach Schaefer is fast asleep on the job became evident in the omission of the recently awarded top goalscorer and player of the season, Owayne 'Turtle' Gordon, who was the undisputed star player for Red Stripe Premier League champions Montego Bay United.




This is all in the context of some 12 other local-based players named in the 40-man provisional squad for the Copa Centennial tournament in June, more evidence of Schaefer's inept player-selection method, as the nomadic German and his technical team continue to insult the intelligence of the Jamaican football public.

The treatment of the local-based players has been a hot topic for several years, and we suspect it will be for several years to come.

Until Schaefer, or whomever replaces him as coach, understands that discriminating against a potential national player simply because he plays his football in Jamaica, that very notion in and of itself, is effectively destroying the hopes and aspirations of many young players in Jamaica.

The case could possibly be made that this is not all Schaefer's fault because the technical leadership of the Jamaica Football Federation is also in a deep slumber, snoring even louder than the coach.