Sat | Oct 31, 2020

JFF putting spotlight on youth programmes

Published:Saturday | February 29, 2020 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Michael Ricketts, said his association is in talks with former England International Ricky Hill to assist with the development of the country’s young coaches.

Ricketts told The Gleaner that this is a very important year for football in Jamaica because the senior World Cup Qualifiers are set to begin later this year and therefore his administration plans to pull out all the stops to ensure that the Reggae Boyz are successful.

“We are finalising an agreement with the English Players Association to have Ricky Hill to assist us with our youth programmes,” said Ricketts.

“We still have a few things that need to be tied down before this can become a reality, but we are hopeful that everything will work out in short order,” he said.

“He is a very experienced individual with a lot of knowledge in coaching and so I know that he will do an excellent job with our coaches,” Ricketts said.

Hill, who made three appearances for England from 1982 to 1986, played one season for Leicester City in the 1990-1991 season. Before that, Hill who is a former midfield player, made 436 appearances for Luton Town while scoring 56 goals.

Ricketts said that this is massive year for the country’s football programmes.

“We have a number of new initiatives coming on stream because this is going to be a very critical and crucial year for football in Jamaica and so we are just hopeful that things will work out for us,” Ricketts said.

“I hope that we will qualify for the World Cup, we are also hopeful that one of our youth teams will also qualify for a World Cup and so I am just hopeful that we will get some good results this year,” he said.

As part of their preparations for this year’s World Cup qualifiers, the Reggae Boyz will be playing two international friendlies against Bermuda and Catalonia on March 11 and 30, respectively. The Reggae Boyz will oppose Bermuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James then travel to Catalonia in Spain for their next assignment.