Fri | Apr 26, 2019

Gardner tipped for U-20 return

Published:Monday | August 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/ Gleaner Writer
National player Javain Brown (centre) is a part of the Jamaica Under-23 set-up.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary Dalton Wint said that there will be no coaching change to the national Under-20 team and Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner will return to head the programme.

The young Reggae Boyz were recently placed in Pot 1 of the 2018 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship draw set for September 13. But with the tournament approaching, no squad has been called or coach named. No coach has been named for that team since their exit from the Caribbean Football Union qualifiers in 2016. The JFF's policy is that the performance of every coach has to be reviewed after each tournament before an appointment for the following competition is made.

When contacted, Wint said that the coach has been identified and that he expects him to be announced shortly. But with the senior, Under-23, boys' Under-14 and women's Under-15 teams all in camp at the moment, Wint said they are waiting to relieve some of these teams before they kick-start the Under-20 programme.




"The (national U-20) coaches have been named already. It is just for us to officially put them into camp and get things going. No coaching change as far as I am concerned," Wint said.

"We actually have a lot of teams in camp, but after this, we will have the coach call in the players and start working. So, by then end of this week," he said.

Wint insists they have not neglected the

Under-20s while noting that the JFF has been doing work in the background to ensure that the team gets good preparation going into the November 1-21 tournament.

"The coaching staff is to be announced later this week, and we are going to have some practice games. We have a game in the United States that we are trying to finalise," he said.

Jamaica's pot also includes Cuba, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti and Canada. Pot 2 consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, St Kitts and Nevis, CuraÁao, Aruba and Suriname. Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, St Lucia and Guyana make up Pot 3. Pot 4 has Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Belize and Dominica, while Pot 5 comprises the US Virgin Islands, Martinique, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin and Montserrat.

But based on the CONCACAF men's U-20 ranking, the top six teams, United States (A1), Mexico (B1), Honduras (C1), Panama (D1) Costa Rica (E1) and El Salvador (F1), will be seeded team. The draw will place seeded teams in their respective groups, while the remaining 29 teams will be distributed in five pots.

The 35 teams will be sorted into six groups - five groups of six and one group of five - for the first round. After round-robin play, the six group winners will advance to the qualification stage, where they will be divided into two groups of three teams. After a second round of round-robin play, the two group winners and tournament finalists, plus the second-place finishers, will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.