'This is your chance!' - Whitmore urges young Reggae Boyz to make most of training squad call-up
National senior men's football team head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore has said that with the Arnett Gardens and Portmore United players of the national team away on international club duties, this is a great opportunity for a number of Under-23 players to make an impression.
The former Reggae Boy called up eight Under-23 players - Daniel Green, Kevaughn Atkinson, Ajeanie Talbott, Shandel Senior, Ray Campbell, Malique Howell, Nickjay White, and Nicolloyd Dinham - to the training squad currently in camp at the JFF-UWI Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence and said more players need to take their chances like Harbour View striker Daniel Green, who has impressed him so far.
Whitmore said the Harbour View forward has done well in practice games, and he wants more players, especially in this camp that is under way, to grasp this opportunity to impress.
"Over the past few days, we have been having some trials with the Under-23s. With the Portmore and the Arnett players out, we decided to give them a look-in because they are the players that the
(U-23) coaches select from ... , and we would want them to get a little playing time [in the senior team]," he said.
"This is a chance to give the youth proper exposure apart from just carrying them in and not giving them any quality playing time. So we don't intend to just bring them into camp, have them training, and not have anything to look forward to. We will try to give everyone as much of the exposure as possible, but it's definitely up to them to make the best of this opportunity," he insisted.
"Look at Daniel Green. The coaching staff has been really impressed with him in the senior team. He scored two goals for us in a practice game against Portmore. Then he went to Lucea and was really impressive. He is still a bit rusty, so his fitness level needs to go up, but we have been really impressed with him," Whitmore stated.
With the directive the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has given the senior team coaches to expose the nation's best young talent and assist their development as best as they can, Whitmore said his trainers have been doing their best to carry out this mandate.
"It is a part of the JFF's mandate to give the youth regular practice games. This is the way forward if we want to do something different. But it is not all about bringing through youth. There is a lot more to it. We just hope with the help of the Federation, we can achieve," he added.
The team is preparing for friendlies against Grenada on August 17 and Barbados on August 20.
Full training squad: Amal Knight, Dennis Taylor, Ladale Richie, Javain Brown, Ricardo Thomas, Tevin Shaw, Fabion McCarthy, Alex Marshall, Chevone Marsh, Peter-Lee Vassell, Deshane Beckford, Daniel Green, Barrington Pryce, Kaheem Parris, Kevaughn Atkinson, Ajeanie Talbott, Shandel Senior, Ray Campbell, Malique Howell Liguanea, Nickjay White, Nicolloyd Dinham.