U-23s in prime condition – White
National Under-23 goalkeeper Jaedin White believes the team is in prime condition ahead of their opening Group A first-round Concacaf (Caribbean stage) men’s Olympic qualifying game against Dominica at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex this evening at 6:30.
The young Reggae Boyz, who are favoured to advance from the group, have struggled in this tournament in recent times, but the Donovan Duckie-coached team is keen to do well, and White expects them to start with a win over Dominica.
“The team has been preparing for a year and a half and everything has gone smooth down to the day before the tournament, so everything is going well. It’s just for the players to focus and go out and do what they are supposed to,” White said.
The team consists of several highly rated local youngsters such as Alex Marshall, Emelio Rousseau, Kaheem Parris, Lamar Walker, Deshane Beckford, Jourdain Fletcher, Daniel Green, Luca Levee and Venton Evans.
However, Jamaica have failed to reach the Concacaf stage in the last three qualifiers and have not reached the Concacaf final round since 1996, losing all of their three matches during the 2000 and the 2004 group stage to finish bottom on both occasions.
Still, White says all the players are expecting this team to do well in the qualifiers, and he thinks home support should provide a major boost for those who have played most of their recent international games away from home.
“The expectation is always to get a win. We don’t know much about them (Dominica), so we have to go and do what we train to do. No matter how difficult the opponent is, we just need to make sure we get the result,” he stated.
Jamaica face Dominica in the opening game of the three-team tournament this evening. Then Dominica take on St Kitts & Nevis in their second game on Friday at the same venue at 4:30 p.m.
The hosts will close out against St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
All games will be played at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.