Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Gimme a call, JFF! - Former Reggae Boy Paul Hall wants role in national programme

Published:Monday | March 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment/Sports News Coordinator
Reggae Boy Fitzroy Simpson (right) thunders a shot on goal on as fellow "Beatle" Paul Hall admires his effort during the Canada vs Jamaica World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium on September 7, 1997.

Former national footballer Paul Hall said that although positives exist in the national programme, he is disappointed that more players from what was considered Jamaica's 'golden generation' - the team that qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 - have not been contacted by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to help it move forward.

Hall, now a coach at English Championship side Queens Park Rangers FC (QPR), said that his experience working with what he described as "top-level" English coaches such as Chris Ramsey, credited for developing Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane, should be taken into consideration by the JFF.

"I retired in 2008. My phone hasn't been called even once to say, 'You're an A-licensed coach, let's have a look at what you offer'," Hall told The Gleaner. "If I'm rubbing shoulders with him (Ramsey), surely, I've got something to offer to Jamaica. At worst, I can give them an idea."

The former Reggae Boy said that he still keeps in touch with teammates from the '98 squad, and they have all told him that they would love to use their expertise gained since retirement to help various aspects of local football. He mentioned that some of these players have gone on to other roles in the sport, such as coaching, journalism, and as agents.




"Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton, Linval Dixon, Onandi Lowe, Pepe (Ian Goodison), Bibi (Ricardo Gardner), Tappa (Theodore Whitmore), Robbie Earle, Marcus Gayle, Frank Sinclair - you've got such a rich pool of resources to go to that have done the job before and are still involved in football and can actually help from various angles, not just in football," he said. "Michael Johnson is around the Derby County board. We've got journalists, agents, so much expertise that could help Jamaica go forward. The JFF needs to tap into those resources and use them to improve and get a decent environment about what they do. We could affect the whole picture of Jamaican football just by having conversations with people. We got a gold mine, and we aren't really thinking how we can get the gold out of it."

However, Hall said that it would not be about helping just footballers, but everyone associated with the sport, regardless of his or her field.

"Robbie Earle could come to Jamaica and have a conversation with all the journalists about what he does on television and how he does it," Hall explained. "It's an opportunity on how we could all improve each other and set the standard and say, 'Right, this is what we've got'.

"Everybody wants to see Jamaica do well. Everybody wants to see Jamaica improve and [get] back at the World Cup again. We all can help, even if it's just us all getting together and having a conversation, just sharing ideas around a table. Something good can come out of it. When you relive stories from the past, people say you shouldn't look to the past, but if you don't look to the past, you can't look to the future. You've got to know where you've come from to know where you're going to go."