Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Young Boyz Get Residential Camp

Published:Tuesday | February 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Andrew Edwards

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has announced that the National Under-17 men's football team will be based in a three-month residential camp until they depart for the CONCACAF final-round qualifiers in April.

For some time, head coach Andrew Edwards has been advocating this move, as he believes it is necessary to give the team what he describes as a competitive edge when they team go up against the giants of the region for a place in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India this October.

Edwards said the camp will allow the technical staff to cater to the players' nutritional needs, give full medical support, train more consistently and play more practice games. Most important, the players' education will not be compromised as the players will be provided with schooling on regular school days.

"We are working with a schedule which states that the boys attend school between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and we train before and after that. For their medical treatment, it depends on what is required or the evaluation that is necessary, so we might have to take them from training or class for a time to facilitate treatment. But we try everything possible to not affect either training or class," he told The Gleaner.

Edwards calculates upwards of 90 training sessions before the team's expected departure in April, and he says if they manage the camp the right way, they can get the players up to a competitive level.

"This residential camp is absolutely an important aspect of the overall preparation. It means that we have the players for an extensive period where we can put them through all facets of the game. It will give us an opportunity to do things in a consistent way, evaluate and assess the players more stridently," Edward said.

The camp started yesterday and Edwards said they are not contemplating any breaks.

"The JFF is doing this in order to give these players the best chance of representation for the country, as the vision is that these players are the future of our national Under-20, Under-23 and Senior teams," he added.

Jamaica will play in Group C with USA, Mexico and El Salvador in the CONCACAF final round, where four World Cup places are available.