‘Now they know what we want’
Hallgrimsson preaches patience with young players after Trinidad series
With his first matches on home soil complete, national senior men’s head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has not only been impressed with the way the young players acquitted themselves but believes they now have a better understanding of the demands...
With his first matches on home soil complete, national senior men’s head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has not only been impressed with the way the young players acquitted themselves but believes they now have a better understanding of the demands required to be a part of the long-term future of the team.
Jamaica wrapped up their two-game series against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday as they played to a 0-0 draw at the National Stadium in Kingston. They lost the first game 1-0 in Montego Bay. Hallgrimsson had indicated the two-game series was an audition to see who could feature in the Gold Cup squad this summer, as well as their upcoming Concacaf Nations League finale against Mexico on March 26.
While not detailing which of the youngsters impressed or gave themselves a chance to feature in that Mexico squad, what Hallgrimsson was clear about was that none of the players on show ruled themselves out of a future under him for the moment.
“For us, it is not ‘that’s it’. Players may need a little bit more time. If it is a young player, we will call him back in a year or monitor his progress. But no one is punched out for sure,” Hallgrimsson said. “And we are just starting. So we are not in a position to say something like that.”
What the camp has done for them, according to Hallgrimsson, was to illustrate the standards that he expects the players to follow, as well as things that they need to improve on to earn future call-ups.
Locally based players
“The good thing for them is that now they know what we want. They know exactly what we want. So they can now work on those things,” Hallgrimsson said.
With the majority of the players locally based, among the players that made their senior debuts were Chelsea FC’s newest signing Dujuan Richards, as well as United Kingdom-based Dexter Lembikisa and Tyler Roberts.
Veteran defender Adrian Mariappa has belief in those young starlets, emphasising the need for more time for them to adapt and to develop the chemistry necessary for them to be consistent.
“The more that everybody trains together and plays together, that comes naturally. They are good young players. So it is about giving them time. There were so many teenagers on the pitch and they got real talent. I’ve seen them in training as well. They are good guys,” Mariappa said. “It’s about giving them the time. These games for them will be brilliant. You saw the improvement from the first game to the second game. The more they play together, those things will happen. It will be a lot more fluid.”
Hallgrimsson noted that there was better cohesion as a unit on Tuesday and, overall, believes that the camp accomplished its purpose.
“The camp itself was good. So they (the players) know now our working environment and they know what to expect next time they come, and we know what they can give in return. So, fairly pleased with this camp,” Hallgrimsson said.