Sat | Aug 24, 2019

'It's time for WORK'

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore

National senior team head coach, Theodore Whitmore, has expressed satisfaction with the terms of a new deal he signed on Monday with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). Whitmore put pen to paper at the JFF's headquarters in New Kingston after a long-running stand- off with the national football federation over his remuneration package. The new deal will become effective on June 1 and runs until December 31, 2022.

"I am satisfied with the remuneration package and everything. Now, it is just work. I have to just focus on the task ahead. I think we are on the right track," Whitmore, who declined to state the value of the deal, told The Gleaner yesterday.

Whitmore said getting a strong, competitive team together started at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup and that work will continue.

"We did well at the Gold Cup last year but lost to the USA in the final. We are now looking at the (inaugural) Nations League in September. We also have World Cup Qualifiers, the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup coming up next year," he shared.

"It is a lot of work so we are preparing. We are motivated and want to do the best for the country every time," Whitmore added.


Working with local players


Whitmore has been working with local players in friendly games but will be looking to add overseas-based professionals to the squad for the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.

"The Nations League is a FIFA tournament and again we have some areas that the technical staff has some concerns with. We will look at the overseas-based professional players to fill those gaps," the former national player pointed out.

Whitmore said the door remained open to all players, once they qualify to represent the country.

"It is not our intention to turn away any player who wants to represent the national team once they meet the requirements," he said.

Since taking over from German coach Winfried Schafer in October 2016, Whitmore has guided the Reggae Boyz to the Caribbean Football Union Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup finals last year. They were beaten in the Caribbean Cup final by CuraÁao while they lost to the United States in the Gold Cup final.

In his 16 games since taking over under the administration of the late Captain Horace Burrell in 2016, Whitmore has led the team to a record of seven wins, five losses and four draws, with the team scoring 20 goals, while conceding 18, with five clean sheets.