Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Playing who's available - Friendlies outside of FIFA date limit Reggae Boyz's options

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
Members of the Jamaica senior men's football team in training at the Excelsior High School on Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Manager of Jamaica senior men's football team, Roy Simpson, said that despite having a better history against Grenada and Barbados, those teams were the best available options to engage in friendly international games at this time.

The senior Reggae Boyz will depart Jamaica today for Grenada, where they will engage the hosts in an international friendly game on Friday at 7 p.m. (Jamaica time). The game will be played at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium in St Georges. The delegation will then travel to Barbados next Tuesday, August 21, for a game at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Wildey, also at 7 p.m.

Jamaica are using both games in preparation for the start of the CONCACAF Nations League on Sunday, September 9, where the Boyz will host the Cayman Islands at the National Stadium.

"We will play against opponents who are available to us," Simpson said. "Grenada and Barbados are those teams because it is not a FIFA date."

"No disrespect to those teams, but we will play against Cayman Islands in the opening game of the inaugural Nations League, so the coach is looking at theses opponents to continue preparation. The coach is looking at the bigger picture," he added.

"The coach will continue to build young, local talent, hence we are giving them opportunity to be a part of the squad for the Nations League," Simpson further noted.

In 10 head-to-head games with Grenada, Jamaica have won seven times, drawn twice and lost once. The teams last met on June 6, 2011, and the result was 4-0 in favour of the Reggae Boyz.

However, Barbados have also struggled against Jamaica, with Theodore Whitmore's side having 10 wins, one draw and two losses. The Jamaicans won 2-0 in the last encounter on March 3, 2014 in a friendly encounter.

The squad: Amal Knight, Fabion McCarthy, Damion Hyatt, Fabian Reid, Ricardo Morris, Javon East, Maalique Foster, Damano Solomon, Ladale Richie, Javain Brown, Peter-Lee Vassell, Daniel Green, Ajeanie Talbott, Ricardo Thomas, Tevin Shaw, Barrington Pryce, Alex Marshall, Chevone Marsh, Kaheem Parris and Kevaughn Isaacs.