Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Nicholson backs Bailey selection criticism

Published:Friday | May 15, 2020 | 12:10 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

NATIONAL STRIKER Shamar Nicholson has supported teammate Leon Bailey’s criticisms of their head coach Theodore Whitmore’s selection policy.

Bailey said in a recent Instagram interview that the current squad of players is capable of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the only thing that can deny them of that opportunity is the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Bailey said that there needs to be a core squad and a settled team in training, with only occasional minor adjustments, as he felt there were too many new players each time a national team was assembled.

Nicholson, who plays for Belgian first division club Charleroi, was asked his thoughts on Bailey’s comments, during an Instagram Live interview on Wednesday.

“For me, the best way is to get the group you have to gel,” Nicholson said. “If you want to change something, you can’t change [anything] big if you want to build a chemistry with the players and the understanding.”

“[For] teams like Germany, it’s not just one year that these players are playing together, they have played together for so long. So even if they change the team, they don’t change too much. They still have the same set of players and might change one to three. But if you have different players performing and deserve a chance, let it be. As before me, I went into the national team because I deserved a chance and I got it.”

Just like Bailey, Nicholson believes the country has a strong chance of making it to the next World Cup in Qatar.

“All the players are on the same page and they believe,” he said. “Once they believe, that is the advantage. We just need to take advantage of what we’ve got now, and the players just need to continue believing and don’t lose hope.”