Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
President of the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA), Rudolph Speid, believes the 'new-coach' syndrome will play a significant role if the country's senior men's football team is to qualify for next year's World Cup.
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz's Rio 2016 campaign is precariously poised, with the team having garnered a mere two points from their opening six games in the CONCACAF Hexagonal group, which has left them rooted at the bottom of the standings.
The team's showing in the final round of qualification - which has seen them suffer four consecutive defeats after opening with two draws - resulted in the sacking of former national head coach, Theodore Whitmore.
German Winfried 'Winnie' Schäfer was appointed as head coach to the senior team last month.
Speid was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Kingston's weekly luncheon meeting, held on the grounds of the National Chest Hospital, where he spoke on the topic, 'Will We Watch the World Cup from the Field or from the Stands?'
He believes Jamaica's chances of qualifying have improved with the appointment of Schäfer.
"Apparently, this coach (Schäfer), with the new-coach syndrome, has been able to unite all the factions and he now has the best available players for Jamaica to perform," said Speid, who is also chairman of Red Stripe Premier League team Cavalier. "I think the new coach will play a very important part if we are to be successful.
"All the players will be trying to improve and have instant trust in the coach, and there will be no bickering in the short run. Just operation qualifying will be in place, as there will be a reward of US$900 million to qualify."
Though he believes Schäfer may give the country the best chance of realising its immediate dream, Speid thinks the long-term goal must be to have local coaches at the helm of Jamaica's football programme.
LOCAL COACHING CONTINGENT
"We have to employ the best coach available now, but sometime in the future, our aim must be to end up with the a local coaching contingent, to improve our football and improve what we have to offer," Speid reasoned. "Somebody who knows the culture of the people and what makes them tick and all of that is very important in the psyche of trying to manage these national teams."
The most recent local coaching contingent at the helm of Jamaica's senior men's team was the duo of Whitmore and Bradley Stewart. Prior to Stewart being relieved of his duties in 2011, the duo racked up an impressive record of 24 wins, six draws and a mere four losses for a win percentage of 70.
"They (Whitmore and Stewart) were the envy of coaches in the world for win/loss record based on that performance up to 2011," Speid reasoned. "We couldn't leave well enough alone and went back for the sixth contingent of Brazilians in 2011. They (Brazilians) governed over 25 games and we won five, drew five and lost 15."