Reggae Boy Richie warns against complacency
Jamaica senior men's football team captain Ladale Richie has been savouring his new leadership role in his last four games in the national set-up. However, the former Montego Bay United defender believes the young players Theodore Whitmore carried on the recent tour of the Caribbean must guard against complacency and take each game equally seriously.
Jamaica defeated Grenada 5-1 but came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Barbados, and Richie thought they approached the second game with overconfidence. "We need to take every game seriously and play with the intensity of the second half against Barbados. If we play every game with the same tempo, I don't see any of the teams (in the region) matching us. We just need to concentrate more and execute," he said.
"Against Barbados we were lackadaisical and didn't play with much intensity. But at half-time, coach (Whitmore) spoke, and we put more pressure on them and created a lot of chances and were able to come back from 2-0 down.
"But for some of them, it's their first time at the international level. It was a good experience as playing in the Caribbean is very hard. Coming up for the Nation's League, you don't know who is going to be in the team, but it's the same type of experience playing against a Cayman, as those teams are going to play very hard. So, we will have to know how to play against them," he added.
Jamaica face the Cayman Islands in their opening CONCACAF Nations League game on September 9, and Richie expects himself and youngsters Peter-Lee Vassell, Tevin Shaw, and Alex Marshall to remain in the group.
"It has been a good experience with the younger guys," he said. "I know I am the most capped player, so I have to lead. I don't know the coach's plan or who he will use. But he has a lot of players in MLS (Major League Soccer), USL (United Soccer League, both in the USA), and lot of other players who can be added. But he will be looking to put out a well-rounded team, and most of the youngsters will get their chance. I am also expecting to be a part of it. It would be a big disappointment for me (if excluded), but I am not the coach, and I will be okay with whatever decision he makes."