Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
With the country's Premier League set to kick off tomorrow, president of the Premier League Clubs Association and chairman of the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), Edward Seaga, firmly believes that the local league will attract greater attention after Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson's strike against Costa Rica.
Anderson, who plays for Red Stripe Premier League outfit Waterhouse, scored a stoppage time equaliser against Costa Rica inside the National Stadium during Tuesday's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier to keep the country's faint World Cup hopes alive. Anderson, who was the league's leading goalscorer for the past two seasons, had been overlooked for previous games.
"At least we have proven that the local players can make a mark," former Prime Minister Seaga, said. "When Tuffy scored the goal the other evening, a lot of people has taken that as a strike for local players to be involved in any major national team.
"It was he (Anderson) who rescued the national team from being ousted from the qualifiers. We are looking forward to them (local players) displaying their skills and more attention being paid to their abilities."
There has been one major change for the 2013-2014 as a league format will no longer decide the champions. After the playing of three rounds of matches, the top-four teams will contest a semi-final with the winners meeting in the final to determine the champions. This move has not found favour with all the coaches of the 12 clubs.
"The coaches are not the ones who have to make that decision (changes to the format of the competition), it is the people who operate the clubs and they are represented at the PLCA and the PLCA had a majority vote on more than one occasion for that format," Seaga said. "Eventually it was sent to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to be ratified and at that point the eight would do the knockout but there were certain points about that they weren't satisfied with and the JFF ratified the top four."
Despite everything being in place for the start of the season, there are some sponsorship negotiations that are yet to be completed including that surrounding the popular Monday Night Football matches.
"We still have some sponsors that we are talking to, and this happens every year where core sponsors come in early and then you will have some other sponsors that you have to keep talking with," Seaga shared. "We are also in negotiations to see if we can put together another package for Monday Night Football, but that won't start until in January."