'Teddy' Johnson recalled
National senior men's team football head coach Theodore Whitmore is continuing the Jamaica Football Federation's plan to invest in local players.
A 25-man squad of mainly local-based players started training at the Stadium East Complex yesterday. The squad includes schoolboys stars Jourdaine Fletcher of Cornwall College, Alex Marshall (St George's College), Javain Brown (Kingston College), Fabian Grant (KC) and Rodave Murray of Dinthill Technical.
Also in the squad is the 36 year-old veteran attacker and leading scorer (16 goals) in the Red Stripe Premier League, Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson of Tivoli Gardens Football Club. Johnson, who was not in the original list of invitees, is a late addition to the squad that is preparing for a friendly international against Peru on June 13 in Arequipa, Peru, starting at 7:30 p.m.
They will then move on to the Caribbean Cup in late June and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
Whitmore gave Johnson the nod after a meeting with him.
"I had a one-on-one meeting with Teddy this morning (Tuesday) and we discussed a lot of things. He expressed his concerns. We have Peru coming up and the Caribbean Cup, so we saw it fit to bring him in the training set-up. He is not guaranteed a place, but he has international and club experience," the head coach said about his former national teammate, who also played professionally in England.
CHANCE TO SHOWCASESKILLS
With the busy schedule, Whitmore is giving several players the opportunity to showcase their talent in the senior programme.
"You would have known that some players in the programme are away with Portmore United (who are participating in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship in Trinidad and Tobago), so we have decided to give other players opportunities," Whitmore told The Gleaner during the training session.
"We want to give players exposure. For the Peru game, we will have the overseas-based players who will join the squad. The Caribbean Cup is not on FIFA's list of match dates, so the local -based players will be there," he added.
There are ten new players in the training squad including overseas-based Zachary Wallace and Casey Reid who both contacted the JFF for a chance to be seen by the technical staff.
With regards to the upcoming friendly international against Peru, who are ranked number 17 on the FIFA list, Whitmore said: "It is always good to play against a quality team such as Peru, so we want to assemble a strong team."
The Regage Boyz are ranked at 74.
The full training squad reads: Amal Knight (UWI), Damion Hyatt (Arnett Gardens), Fabian Reid (Arnett), Ladale Ritchie (Montego Bay United), Shawn Genius (Reno), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Jamie Robinson (UWI), Fitzroy Cummings (Sporting Central), Jourdaine Fletcher (MBU), Tevin Shaw (Tivoli Gardens), Owayne Gordon (MBU), Alex Marshall (Cavalier SC), Rodave Murray (Waterhouse), Shamar Nicholson (Boys' Town), Jamiel Hardware (Boys' Town), Kemar Bennett (Harbour View), Fabian Grant (Harbour View), Leonard Rankine (Reno), Johann Weatherly (Reno), Zachary Wallace (unattached), Casey Reid (unattached), Javain Brown (Harbour View), Damarley Samuels (Waterhouse), and Jermaine Johnson (Tivoli).