Donaldson’s end was already on the cards
THE JAMAICA Football Federation’s (JFF) refusal to renew the contract of Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson was long in coming, according to a JFF source close to the process. The JFF, in a press release yesterday, stated that they met with...
THE JAMAICA Football Federation’s (JFF) refusal to renew the contract of Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson was long in coming, according to a JFF source close to the process.
The JFF, in a press release yesterday, stated that they met with Donaldson and both parties agreed not to continue their relationship.
Efforts by The Gleaner to get further clarification from the federation on Donaldson’s departure proved futile.
However, one JFF member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Donaldson’s exit was imminent after he allegedly disrespected JFF director and chairman of women’s football, Elaine Walker-Brown, during a pre-World Cup camp in Jamaica in June.
The coach had insisted Walker-Brown exit the bus for a team excursion into the rural areas, as the team did not wish to travel with her, the source said.
In June Walker-Brown confirmed to The Gleaner that there was a confrontation with Donaldson and described it as “embarrassing”.
“It was a little embarrassing. It was the ministry that sent us. When I went on the bus, he said I cannot go on the bus,” Walker-Brown told The Gleaner in June.
The source revealed that the board of directors didn’t take kindly to Donaldson’s behaviour towards Walker-Brown and said also that the veteran coach did not show up for at least one meeting to discuss the incident.
Due to the closeness of the World Cup, the source explained that the JFF did not want to disrupt preparations and bided their time with the knowledge that Donaldson’s contract would end soon after the World Cup.
“It all started because of what he did to the director. He ran the director off the bus and refused to come to a meeting with the JFF and those are two of the reasons his contract was not renewed,” the source disclosed.
“From that time things have been turning from him. It was agreed not to say anything because his contract would end soon. But when you disrespect a director, who is going to sign your contract?”
The insider revealed that the coach had a clause in his contract which would have allowed him to continue if he had qualified the Reggae Girlz for the Olympics. But not even that would have saved the veteran coach, the source said.
“If he had qualified, it would have been almost like an automatic renewal (of his contract) but they would have fired him anyway. The Olympics wouldn’t save him, they would just find a different way to fire him.”
Meanwhile, assistant coach Xavier Gilbert, who is being tipped to replace Donaldson, said the move came as shock.
“I wasn’t expecting it. I can’t comment. I haven’t even digested it as yet,” he stated.
JFF technical committee chairman Rudolph Speid offered that they haven’t started to look at candidates to replace Donaldson but that he is already being bombarded with emails expressing interest.
Nevertheless, he said they will take the time to find a suitable replacement before the Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying later in October.
“People have applied already. I have received multiple emails already,” Speid said.
All efforts to contact Donaldson for a comment were unsuccessful.