Fraser still keen to coach Jamaica
Gordon Williams, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica-born former United States international, Robin Fraser, is still keen to assist the Reggae Boyz, but there's been little thaw in the cold shoulder shown him by local football authorities.
Currently an assistant coach with New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS), Fraser said he has never received a call to serve, years after he publicly expressed interest in the national football programme.
Fraser claimed a "fleeting" enquiry, from a "third party" who had contact with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has been the only hint his name was ever considered for a job. That followed Theodore Whitmore's departure as head coach during Jamaica's failed 2014 World Cup campaign. Yet he isn't fazed.
"Yeah, I'm very interested," Fraser said on Friday when asked if he would still like to join Jamaica's national programme.
Fraser played 16 years professionally, mainly in MLS, North America's premier league. He later coached MLS club Chivas USA, but was fired in 2012 after two seasons.
Jamaicans' natural football ability, especially those at a young age, sparked Fraser's interest to make a contribution. He believes the nation has not accomplished enough in the sport.
"From I was a little boy, I've wondered why Jamaica has so much talent and has not done well (more often)," said the 47-year-old, who left Jamaica with his family, returned to try out for a national youth team but was snubbed, and later played 27 times for the United States senior team. He had also expressed a desire to represent the senior Boyz.
NO DIRECT CONTACT
Following Whitmore's departure, after Jamaica's loss to Honduras last June, Fraser said he received a call to gauge his interest in a national job. The JFF, however, didn't contact him directly.
"I got the impression there was fleeting interest," said Fraser. " ... I've never spoken to the JFF ever."
German Winfried Schäfer replaced Whitmore and is reportedly mulling a contract offer from the JFF to stay on. However, Fraser insisted Jamaica's men's team is not the only area he's willing to help.
"My interest goes beyond the senior team," he explained. "I have interest in the senior team, but would love to be involved in the development of players. Years ago, I remember thinking Jamaicans were among the most talented in the world ... at the youth level."
All that's needed, Fraser believes, is to complement the talent with required discipline.
"The best players want some structure and some organisation," he said.