Thu | Feb 11, 2016

Friendlies key for Boyz

Published:Thursday | February 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss, Captain Horace Burrell, has highlighted the importance of friendlies as the national senior men's team looks to put together the pieces, following the nation's failure to qualify for yet another World Cup campaign.

The JFF, which on Tuesday unveiled a number of new national coaches expected to lead the programme over the next four years, will face a busy period over the coming months. In total, the Reggae Boyz will play six matches in the next seven months, which Burrell hopes will give the coaches first-hand opportunity to look at the players.

"Without friendly games, it is going to be very difficult for coach Schäfer (Winfried) and his staff as they will want to see the players in action," Burrell said.

Heavily Criticised

"We were heavily criticised the last time around that we were changing and chopping and changing, so we would have learnt some lessons from our last campaign and we will try not to repeat some of these mistakes."

With the omission of some big names from the squad ahead of next month's friendlies, Reggae Boyz coach Schäfer was quick to point out that all players must earn a spot in the national team, whether locally or overseas-based.

The team will begin the set of fixtures against Barbados on Sunday, March 2 at the National Stadium in Barbados. The team will then face St Lucia at the Beausejour Cricket Ground three days later, before travelling to the United States on May 26, where they play against Serbia at the Red Bulls Arena. The Boyz will then journey to Europe, where they face Switzerland on May 30 and World Cup-bound France at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 8. The team will close out the year with a match against CONCACAF competitors Canada on September 9 at the BMO Field in Toronto.

- Kwesi Mugisa

SQUAD: Gariece McPherson (Portmore United), Upston Edwards (Portmore), Ricardo Morris (Portmore), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers, USA), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids, USA), Michael Seaton (DC United, USA), Nicholy Finlayson (Waterhouse), Hughan Gray (Waterhouse), Romario Campbell (Waterhouse), Renae Lloyd (Arnett Gardens), Nicholas Beckett (Harbour View), Dicoy Williams (Harbour View), John Ross Edwards (Harbour View), Kemar Lawrence (Harbour View), Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, USA), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace, England), Wes Morgan (Leicester City, England), Rodolph Austin (Leeds United, England), Joel McAnuff (Reading FC, England), Garath McCleary (Reading FC, England), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas, USA).