Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Duckie fires back at Maxwell

Published:Thursday | December 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Humble Lion head coach Donovan Duckie says he agrees with Geoffrey Maxwell's comments about the poor state of youth development in Jamaican football.

Duckie, however, disagrees with Maxwell's position on the quality of top-flight Jamaican football and the exposure given to talented local youngsters.

Maxwell said that Jamaica's youth system had become what he describes as a "free for all" because he believes the nation is not producing enough talented young footballers eligible for national selection at any level of the game.

"If we are supposed to go into the Caribbean again and start dominating it, we're going to have to look to outlay development programmes. We don't have none," Maxwell recently said.

However, Maxwell's comments went further to say that what he sees as a neglect of the youth system has led to young players developing inflated egos, which he says has led to clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League lacking quality.

Duckie says youth development in Jamaica is negatively affected by too many local coaches being given roles in teams when they lack proper certification. However, unlike Maxwell, Duckie says nothing is wrong with young players having big egos.

"Nothing is wrong with young players having egos. You have bad egos and you have good egos. Nothing is wrong with a player aspiring to be a top player," he says.

AGE NOT A PROBLEM

"We also say the players in the Premier League are young when they are between 21 and 24 years old. They're not. In the English Premier League, you have clubs like Arsenal who have players in the league at a younger age than that. The problem is not the players. The problem is the coaches in charge of them."

Duckie also took offence to Maxwell saying that RSPL clubs are making a mistake in scouting the Manning and daCosta Cups for players as it means too many of the League's attackers and defenders are what he describes as "poor".

"Geoffrey mussi drink too much inna di holiday season," Duckie joked. "Jamaican players are the envy of overseas coaches.

"Jamaica has produced Usain Bolt, and we have footballers who can produce a similar level of athleticism."

- R.P.