Thu | Feb 20, 2020

Fuller backs Whitmore

Published:Thursday | August 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Ricardo Fuller

Former national striker Ricardo Fuller says Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore has been doing an excellent job with the national side and has called on corporate Jamaica to offer him more support.

Fuller told The Gleaner that Whitmore has done a lot for the national team with limited support and now, the time is right for everyone to stand behind him and give him all the support that he needs to help the national to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

"I think he is doing absolutely brilliant so far," said Fuller. "I was in the squad just before John Barnes took over, and for me, he was riding on Theodore's momentum at that time because we were winning a lot of games before John Barnes came and took over," he said.

Whitmore is one of the country's most successful coaches, having led the Reggae Boyz to back-to-back finals at the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in 2015 and 2017.

"We have been runners-up at two Gold Cups, and that is a great achievement for a country like us with about three million people," said Fuller.

"We don't have the facilities like America and Mexico, and we don't have the nutrition ... and for us to do that well, it means that there is something here," he said.

"We need to harness that and improve that ability, and so, everybody needs to come together and give him the support that he needs, whether it is private sector or the public sector, because he has been doing a great job.


Contract dispute


However, despite his excellent win record with the national team, Whitmore and Jamaica Football Federation were embroiled in a bitter contract dispute that went on for several months before both parties finally agreed a new contract earlier this year.

The 38-year-old Fuller, who netted ten goals in 77 appearances for the national side, added that much more respect should be given to the coaches and players for their outstanding work both on and off the field.

"I am happy the wage issue has been sorted out because we have to treat the players and our own with respect and fairness," Fuller said.