Thu | Sep 16, 2021

Whitmore gives thumbs up

Coach pleased with England-based players after first training session ahead of US friendly

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2021 | 12:14 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Whitmore
Whitmore

Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore was left with a positive first impression of the new England-based players in the squad, after the team’s first training session in Vienna, Austria, yesterday. The Jamaicans will play the United...

Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore was left with a positive first impression of the new England-based players in the squad, after the team’s first training session in Vienna, Austria, yesterday.

The Jamaicans will play the United States in an international friendly in the European country on Thursday at 1 p.m. Jamaica time, and although yesterday’s session was basically a familiarisation process, Whitmore shared that he was pleased with the little that he saw on the first day, following the team’s arrival on Monday.

“It was a nice little introduction for everyone. It is a new set-up and we have a lot of new faces, so it was a nice little introduction to start with,” said Whitmore.

“It was a normal session, [there was] nothing to take away from it. It was just an introduction to get the adrenaline flowing,” he added. “It is still too early to call, but you can see all the overseas players are in good physical condition and the technical ability is there. We have another session tomorrow (today) and then we continue into the game on Thursday (tomorrow).”

Whitmore called up six new England-based players for the game, after a number of first-team regulars pulled out of the match in solidarity with continued disagreements in negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) over match fees.

However, the coach’s only concern going into tomorrow’s encounter is striking the right balance with the personnel he has at his disposal.

“From the players arrived, we have been having one-on-one discussions. We have to look to the game on Thursday and ensure that everyone can give 110 per cent. I haven’t spoken to all of them (England-based players). I have only gotten the chance to speak with a few,” Whitmore stated.

BE CAUTIOUS

“However, the ones that I have spoken to are very committed, they want to be here and they want to give 110 per cent,” he added. “We have to be cautious about the players overseas who are in competition and our local players who aren’t in competition and who haven’t played for a whole year now.”

Meanwhile, the two members of the contingent, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, were tested again and returned negative results yesterday.

However, the pair trained separate from the rest of the team.

The JFF, in a release yesterday, stated that two additional players returned positive results from the tests conducted on Monday, including an England-based player.

Subsequent tests carried out yesterday evening returned negative results for the two players and the rest of the squad. If the two affected players receive a second negative test today, they will be allowed to train with the team.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com