Hockey skipper points to lack of experience
Shayne Fairman, Gleaner Writer
Captain of Jamaica's men's hockey team, Kishawn White, believes they missed out on qualifying for the second stage of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League One qualifying series because the team lacked experience at this level.
Jamaica won two games, but lost their final game 3-0 to Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago last Sunday.
"They (Trinidad and Tobago) were more experienced than us and that experience pushed them over the line. We gave them a good fight throughout the match," White said following his team's loss in the game played at the Mona Hockey Field in St Andrew.
He maintains, however, that plans are in motion for improvement when they meet the region's best at the Pan American Hockey Federation 2014 Caribbean (CAC) games set for Vera Cruz Mexico from November 16-24.
"We finished the last four years in last place, but in the FIH qualifiers we finished second, which is our best record in the past ten years," he underlined. "We have been working hard to be among the region's best. We will play competitive hockey, so the rest of the region respects us," he added.
Meanwhile, the men's team has been seeded in Zone B, where they will face tournament hosts Mexico on November 16 and Barbados on November 20.
Coach Nicholas Brown is optimistic of their chances of reaching the semi-finals.
"I am happy with the group in which we have been placed, he told The Gleaner. "We will take it one game at a time and play well," added Brown. He noted that he was pleased with the fixtures as they will allow his team time to rest.
"We have long breaks between games, but our clash with Barbados will decide who goes to the semi-finals," Brown underscored.
Pool A contains possible tournament favourites Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Cuba.
Team Jamaica's women, following their disappointing run in the recently concluded FIH qualifying series, will reassemble for the Pan Am CAC Games training over the next few days. Competition begins on November 15 for the women, who will play in Pool A, where they will face Cuba, Barbados and Mexico.