'Tappa' still in charge - Whitmore confirmed for Reggae Boyz friendlies against USA and Honduras
Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore is confident he can achieve great things as Reggae Boyz coach after the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announced yesterday that he will remain in charge of the national senior team for their next two international friendly games set for February 3 and 16 against the USA and Honduras, respectively.
Whitmore says he believes he is getting closer to landing the job on a more permanent basis and expects to be in charge of the team until at least the Gold Cup tournament in July.
"It's always a pleasure (to coach the national team) it's something I want to do and I know that I can achieve great things. We just need time to put things in place to make it successful," Whitmore told The Gleaner yesterday
"I wouldn't say (the appointment is just for) two games, because I am thinking it (appointment) will be up to the Gold Cup, so I definitely believe I will lead the team into the Gold Cup and I think I am getting closer to landing the job on a more permanent basis," Whitmore commented.
Appointing a national coach has been a hot topic among local football observers since the programme parted ways with German coach Winfried Schäfer, last year. Whitmore was appointed for two Caribbean Cup games against Guyana and Suriname, which the team won and even though the game against Honduras was announced over a week ago, the coaching situation was not defined until now.
"We are determined to offer all possible opportunities to the technical staff to prepare our team to not only successfully defend our Caribbean Cup title in June and to maintain our good performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup but to strengthen the Reggae Boyz brand on the international stage," said JFF president Captain Burrell through a press release yesterday.
It also confirmed that Jerome Waite will continue to serve as Whitmore's assistant.
Meanwhile, Whitmore said he wants to encourage young local talents to believe they can be a part of the national team and that he will be assembling a squad as soon as possible to begin preparation.
"It's a work in progress we want to get the players committed to playing for the country again, we want to strike a balance between local and overseas players because we keep hearing about this debate and we don't want to miss out on the fact that we want to develop local players and get them wanting to play for their country again," Whitmore said.
"We have a lot of youngster who want to represent the country and we have to assure them that opportunity. We are trying to put a squad together, so by (this) weekend we should have a squad together, because we have to start the ball rolling as soon as possible," he added.
The game against the USA will be played in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Finley Stadium beginning at 7 p.m., while the game against Honduras will be played at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.