Duckie looking forward to stint with Tappa
When the Jamaica football squad flew out yesterday for a friendly match in Turkey, one of the happiest men in the touring party was assistant coach Donovan Duckie.
Duckie, the Waterhouse FC coach, is still celebrating his appointment as assistant coach to the national senior team and a chance to work alongside Reggae Boyz icon and coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore.
Duckie told The Gleaner that words could not explain his joy at being recalled to the national programme after almost ten years.
"I don't think I can find the words to explain. Ecstatic, excited, and amazed are just some words to describe my feeling. Any coach with great ambition will always want to reach the highest levels in his country, and to be among the national programme is to be among the best in the country. So it's an honour and a privilege to be back there," he said.
The former Montego Bay United coach intends to grab the opportunity with both arms.
"I am very grateful to the powers that made this decision ... I have been asked to travel with the senior team ... but a bigger privilege is the opportunity to work alongside Whitmore. It is indeed a huge honour to get the experience and to be working with one of the biggest icons in Jamaica football history.
"His experience surpasses many world greats. He is an excellent coach, as he has shown with the national team. His record in terms of his achievements is great ... he has done excellently for us. So I am going with an open mind to learn from him," he said.
Duckie has worked with the under-17 and under-20 squads in the past, as well as Brazilian coaches RenÈ Simies, Walter Gama, and Alfredo Montesso and Serbian Bora Milutinovic, during their stints as national coaches or technical directors. He therefore has some experience at the senior level.
He however feels this experience at the senior level is very limited and can be improved.
"I am very humbled ... The expectation is for it (the appointment) to be long-term ... so I am very hopeful of more good things to come in the future. When I had the opportunity with Milutinovic, I thought it was an incomplete job in terms of what I had hoped to accomplish in terms of experience. I didn't achieve what I wanted to achieve, and the contribution that I wanted to make I didn't get to," he said.
The Reggae Boyz and Duckie are on their way to meet South Korea in a friendly match which will be played in Turkey on January 30.