Your time to shine - RSPL a big opportunity for local players to impress national coaches, says JFF boss
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts, says the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) competition forms a very critical part of the development of the sport in the country.
Speaking to The Gleaner following yesterday's launch of the competition, which was held at the federation's office in Kingston, Ricketts noted that the competition also presents an opportunity for local players to impress the national team's coaching staff and meet their international ambitions.
"One thing is sure, the players now have an opportunity to impress the coaching staff because there is no longer the influx of overseas-based players," said Ricketts.
"I have always thought that if you are bringing in overseas-based players, they ought to be better than the players that you have," he said.
"I think this is an opportunity for our young players to impress the coach and get into the national unit," the JFF boss added.
Red Stripe reaffirmed its commitment to the league despite previous reports that they were planning to discontinue their sponsorship of the competition.
Ricketts added that he is very delighted for Red Stripe's continued sponsorship of the league.
"I think that when you have a sponsor making a public pronouncement that they will definitely continue, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
"You want to think that sponsors are satisfied and comfortable with what the product has to offer and so we are very happy. We no issues with Red Stripe and we are delighted to know that they will be on board," Ricketts pointed out.
Dianne Ashton-Smith, head of corporate affairs of Red Stripe, said that her company is committed to the development of the sport.
"Despite the rumblings, Red Stripe is not pulling out of football," said Ashton-Smith. "Our contractual commitment to the PLCA remains the same. We understand the relevance of football to Jamaica and development of the sport, not just for top flight football but how it develops our young talent," she added.
"Red Stripe is about enriching communities and we are unearthing what we see as a national sport and we want to stand up as a national supporter. Red Stripe is here to stay," she said.
Meanwhile, The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited (GCML) through its publication The STAR, has continued its sponsorship to the competition.
The announcement was made by head of marketing and sponsorship Suwannee Caine-Stewart.
As part of its commitment to the competition, the company will present awards for the top player and coach of each month. Both individuals will receive a specially framed page as well as cash and other prizes.
The STAR'S match-day execution will also include raffles and other giveaways at selected games.
Also of note is the company's back-to-school scholarship, which will be presented to one ball kid with mentor-ship programmes and other initiatives also forming a part of GCML's commitment to the competition.
Meanwhile, the competition is scheduled to kick off on Sunday with a full slate of matches.