Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
With Jamaica's Road to Rio campaign having come to a slow and painful end, Winfried Schäfer has ambitions of charting a new course with young players in an effort to put the country on a path to Russia 2018.
Schäfer's contract was due to expire at the end of the Reggae Boyz final match of the CONCACAF Qualifying, which saw the Boyz draw 2-2 with Honduras inside the National Stadium on Tuesday.
Schafer, however, expressed a desire to stay on and help develop the country's football programme.
"Captain (Horace) Burrell and I will talk about the future and if we agree we can build a very good national team, and not only a national team, but more power in Jamaican football," Schäfer said. "We have to change many things, it is clear, and I see good players who need more training and special training. We have to talk with the clubs, as we need the cooperation of all clubs."
Schäfer has shown a willingness to call young players to the senior team, having drafted in 23-year-old Romario Campbell, 21-year-old Kemar Lawrence and 22-year-old Deshorn Brown.
This is not a new approach, however, with players such as 21-year-old Marvin Morgan, who was called to the 2010 Caribbean Championship team and made two appearances scoring two goals; 22-year-old Jermie Lynch, who scored in his lone appearance for the senior team in a 1-0 win over Guyana in May 2012, and 18-year-old Jorgihno James, who scored a spectacular goal on debut against Cuba in February 2012, having been called up by previous coach, Theodore Whitmore. But these players, having been given the initial opportunity, found themselves in the wilderness despite performing creditably.
"We have to take on the young boys and let them work, work, work," Schäfer said. "We need matches for the future, we need work. Our young players want training. We have good schoolboy footballers - 17-year-olds - so for 2018 our future is in these young players."
Despite the country's football federation coming in for criticism for the number of non-Jamaican-born players that were drafted in for the final phase of the campaign, Schäfer does not seem keen to do away fully with the practice.
"You can't use only local players, you have to work for those players to get better and better and take other players," Schäfer said.