Youth teams mandated for local clubs
Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) director of football, Wendell Downswell, said the federation will make a number of moves this year aimed at improving the youth development mechanism of the country.
Downswell said it will soon become compulsory for coaches at the primary school level to be certified with the new B licence being offered by the federation, to address the vast number of uncertified coaches at the primary level.
Cubs at all levels, Major League, Super League and Premier League, will also be required to have youth teams, as the JFF plans to certify coach educators in the respective parishes and hold regular certification courses, while helping the parishes to stage consistent youth competitions.
“We have about 500 coaches at the primary school level that are not certified and coaching at that level is important,” he said. “So we have started a B Licence and two sets [of coaches] have done it already. About 60 of them just finished, so by 2021 we should be able to cover coaching at that level.
“Just like at the high school level, where they make it mandatory to have a level two certification, it is going to be mandatory to have a B Licence to coach at that level. This is where it all begins and when the parish associations started their certification programme, by doing that they will have certified individuals within the clubs also. So they get coached at the youth level coming forward.”
Parishes without youth competitions will be given the support they need to get more active.
“When funds are distributed to the parish associations, it is going to be mandatory for clubs to have, for example, at least three categories of youth teams,” he said. “So the first year they will choose one [age group team], the second year they must have two, and you gradually increase it strategically.