Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Seven United Kingdom-born players - headed by Jobi McAnuff, captain of English Premier League outfit Reading, and Germany-born Daniel Gordon - have been recruited by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to strengthen the Reggae Boyz ahead of next year's final phase of CONCACAF World Cup 2014 qualifiers, which begin in February.
JFF president, Captain Horace Burrell, along with head coach Theodore Whitmore and assistant coach Alfredo Montesso, held negotiations with the players during a recent scouting trip to the United Kingdom.
Burrell said the players have committed themselves to representing the Reggae Boyz and his administration is now in the process of securing the relevant documentation for the players, ahead of their opening game against Mexico on February 6 in Mexico City.
"I am here to report to you all that it was a very successful trip to the United Kingdom," said Burrell during a press conference, which was held at the JFF office in New Kingston yesterday. "It was a very hard going because we had to be travelling all across the UK, and in the end did the job.
"We went on the scouting mission because it is the policy of the JFF that we should have the best 11 players on the field at all times," he said.
"We have made it quite clear that for any player to represent our country, that player has to demonstrate commitment, but of course, even before that, he has to have the level of competence to be able to become a member of the team," Burrell added.
Continuing, Burrell said: "He has to also demonstrate that he is willing to follow the disciplinary codes … and with that in mind, we decided on these players."
The JFF boss noted he has done his job and it is now up to the coaching staff to select the best players for the World Cup qualifiers next year.
"The JFF does not get involved with the selection of any national teams," Burrell said. "It is the coaches who do that. We are responsible for securing the talent. The coaches would tell us who they see that can represent the country, and we will go out and secure those players," he pointed out.
The 31-year-old McAnuff, who is an attacking midfielder, is receiving his second call-up to the Reggae Boyz squad. He made his debut in 2002 for Jamaica against Nigeria in London, England.
The 27-year-old Gordon, who is a midfielder, plies his trade for Karlsruher in Germany's division two competition.
Among the other UK-born players who have been drafted in by the JFF is McAnuff's teammate and striker Garath McCleary, 30, who has scored one goal from nine appearances for Reading this season. The other players are Lloyd Doyley, a 29-year-old defender who plays for English Championship side Watford; strikers Jermaine Beckford, 28, and James Vaughan, 24, both of English Championship team Huddersfield; Marvin Bartley, a 23-year-old midfielder who plies his trade for Burnley in the English Championship; and Theo Robinson, a 23-year-old striker, who plays in the colours of Championship side Derby County.