Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Experts back local players to show quality

Published:Thursday | January 12, 2017 | 1:00 AMLivingston Scott

Local football experts Bradley Stewart and Clyde Jurideini strongly believe the recently assembled Reggae Boyz squad, which contains seven new players, in preparation for the Caribbean Cup semi-finals in June and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, has promise.

Stewart questioned the reasoning behind Montego Bay United's six selections and Portmore United's five, but nonetheless believes they should be eager to grab the opportunity.

He also argued that if local Premier League players are camped together for an extended period in a proper training programme, they will eventually come good.

"We went through a period where there was a denial of local talent, and now that you are giving them an opportunity, if the players are ambitious, they should do well. If our players are coachable and you put them in the (proper) environment, they will do well," Stewart said.

"But we have a high percentage of players out of Montego Bay and Portmore teams; that was kind of the norm. But there are some schoolboys we need to expose, and I don't see any," he added.

Jurideini likes the idea of local-based players playing top-quality internationals and surmised that this new generation can make the step up if they are given an adequate chance to develop and be exposed.

GOOD CONCEPT

"It is a good concept and an opportunity for exposure for the local-based players. This is a broader new way at looking at the (local) Premier League players in depth and a process of exposure and elimination," he said.

However, if the team and player are to truly progress they must be placed in systems that suit their ability, says Stewart.

Jurideini, meantime, thinks the overseas players should take the backseat and allow this new crop of local talent to gather the international experience and exposure.

"In January going February, the North American (club) players will be going back to training and are not available. There are a lot of new faces and question marks, but they (coaches) will see who they can expose and who they can select (long term).

The Theodore Whitmore-coached team will play two friendlies against the USA and Honduras on February 3 and 16, respectively.