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Whitmore's way - Reggae Boyz coach pens four-year deal with JFF

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Head coach Theodore Whitmore will take charge of the senior national football team for the next four years, after he officially put pen to paper on a new contract yesterday at the offices of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Whitmore, a former Reggae Boyz midfield star, has been at loggerheads with the JFF for some time, over his remuneration package, and had tendered his resignation early last month, before Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange's intervention led to a verbal agreement between both parties.

However, the actual document was not signed until yesterday, after a meeting between Whitmore, JFF President Michael Ricketts and other members of the federation's hierarchy.

Though no financial details were disclosed, the four-year deal means that Whitmore will lead the Reggae Boyz into the next World Cup qualifying cycle and put an end to lingering speculation about the leadership of the team going forward.

"Finally, we managed to sign the contractual arrangements with Whitmore. That was done at about midday (yesterday)," Ricketts confirmed, during an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

"We revised his contract and made some adjustments," Ricketts added. "It was sent to him last week and he looked at it. I invited him today (Monday) for a 11 a.m. discussion on it. We went through it and there were minor adjustment with typos and things like those, but that (contract dispute) is behind us now and he is on a four-year contract," Ricketts added.

The JFF boss noted that he was thrilled that Whitmore would be continuing with the programme, while pointing to the short-term plans for the national set-up.

"I am absolutely delighted and happy we were able to settle whatever issues that we might have had. I would want to think it has been a good day. The coach has no issue at all, so there were no issues in relation to the real contents of the contract. After the (2018) World Cup, we will have a serious programme for the Olympic squad, going into the next World Cup qualifiers for 2020," Ricketts added.

"It is a four-year contract. He asked not to disclose his salary and we are abiding by his request. But there are clauses, things like none performance on either end, and we are hoping if that happens, it will be on mutual terms. But he's very comfortable (with deal) and we had a warm discussion on Jamaica's football," Ricketts added.

Since taking over from German coach Winfried Schafer in October 2016, Whitmore guided the Reggae Boyz to the Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF Gold Cup finals last year, where the team lost both games to Curacao and the United States respectively.

In his16 games in charge of the Boyz since taking over in 2016, Whitmore has led the team to a record of 7 wins, 5 losses and 4 draws, with the team scoring 20 goals, while conceding 18 with five clean sheets.