Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Former Boyz encouraged by young talent

Published:Monday | March 6, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Members of the Jamaica All-Stars team which is made up of past and emerging Jamaican footballers.

The Jamaica All Stars versus Brazil All Stars match at the National Stadium on Friday, saw the generation of players from the 1998 World Cup Campaign, teaming up with the upcoming generation of Jamaican talent, such as Alex Marshall, Gregory Messam Jr, Chevon Stewart, Jahwani Hinds, Zhelano Barnes, among others to take on the illustrious Brazilians. The older counterparts were impressed by their young peers and believe the future of Jamaica's football is bright.

Former goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence, who pulled off a spectacular save to deny Rivaldo the equaliser from a free-kick with the last kick off the game, said it was an opportunity for the younger players to learn from them.

"This is why we wanted it (the game), to teach these kids and show them how to play football. When most of the seniors came off, the game got faster. When we were out there we were patient, got the chances and put them away. We talked to them and let them know they should learn from us and learn off us and I think they are going to do well, they are ones for the future, they will do well," he said.

Former national captain Ricardo Gardener, was also impressed and encouraged the youngsters to adopt the right attitude if they want to make it as professional players.

"I got goosebumps being among my '98' teammates with some of the youngsters, who are some of the best in the country. They can only learn from this as long as they believe in themselves and continue to work. We are not competing against fellow Jamaicans, but against talented South Americans, people coming through academies in Europe and talented players from Africa, if they want to be professionals. So they have to apply the right attitude, and once you apply the right attitude nothing is impossible," he commented.

 

YOUTH LOOK GOOD

 

Durrant Brown, the former national central defender, says he, too, sees promise in the youngsters. "To be here among the youths and the elders, it was a great joy and it looks good for the future because the youths look good," he stated.

Andy 'Bomber' Williams, who was returning home for the first time in years, says the country has something to build on with the young talent. "You saw a few younger guys and from what I have seen, I am pretty happy. I follow some of them (online), and I hope they can get these guys in the programme and lead them to Qatar (2022) and build from there," he said.

Walter Boyd, who stole the show, is also very encouraged from what he is seeing from the young local talent.

"It was good to see the players from '98 and we mesh well with the younger players. We are rich in talent; we have a lot of young talent. We just need to get our thing together and try move forward, and we have to believe in ourselves," he said.

- L.S.