Fri | Dec 13, 2019

Duckie wants to build winning culture

Published:Wednesday | August 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer

National Under-23 team head coach Donovan Duckie says he is looking to build a winning culture within his squad ahead of weekend friendlies against St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Jamaica's Under-23s are scheduled to oppose St Vincent and the Grenadines' Under-20 team on Friday and their senior team next Sunday, August 26 as his squad steps up preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

"It was not our choice as to who we play. We were offered two games and grabbed them with open arms. We want to achieve certain objectives by playing these friendly international games," Duckie told The Gleaner before the team's departure, yesterday.

"This is okay for us to play teams that are younger than us, but we don't consider them weaker. We could look at our offence against their Under-20 team, but playing the senior team will be more challenging,' he pointed out.

"We will use the first game as a warm up to play the senior team," Duckie added.

Duckie wants winning to become a habit in the quest for a historic qualification to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

"It is always important to win because it builds a culture. You don't want the players' confidence to be torn. We always want to be positive. We want to win at the right time before the qualifiers start," he shared.

"The programme started about three months ago and we are building. We have a pool of 50 players and we will rotate them to find the best squad.

"We are allowed to carry 18 players on this tour, so we have to think about balance in terms of positions. We have seven players that travelled with the senior team to the eastern Caribbean and they will be joining us from Barbados. They will be integrated with the eleven players travelling from Jamaica," Duckie said.

Players: Deshane Beckford, Seigle Knight, Jamoi Topey, Andre Leslie, Alex Marshall, Kaheem Parris, Tevin Shaw, Ajeanie Talbot, Ricardo Thomas, Peter-Lee Vassell, Jeadine White, Eric Edwards, Sheldon McKoy, Leonardo Jibberson, Ricardo Dennis, Ray Campbell, Nicolloyd Dinham, and Kemo Wilson.

Officials and coaches: Donald Beckford (head of delegation), Donovan Duckie (head coach), Merron Gordon (assistant coach), Howard Bell (team manager), Denzil Williams (physiotherapist), and Ronald Watson (equipment manager).