Schoolboys invited to Reggae Boyz training
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
From left: Wolmer's Waugh, St James' Ottey and St George's Morgan
When Jamaica's training squad for the upcoming friendly against Canada on January 31 convenes, it will comprise five of the youngsters who participated in the recently concluded schoolboy football season.
The five are St James High's Ricardo Morris and Allan Ottey, Manchester High's Romaine Bowie, St George's College midfielder Marvin Morgan, and Christopher Waugh of Wolmer's High.
National head coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, says this is all part of the rebuilding process.
"We are rebuilding for the 2014 (World Cup) and these players, along with a lot more, will be rotated in the three camps that will be held leading up the game (international friendly against Canada)," Whitmore said.
"What you find (is that) after the players finish playing daCosta Cup and Manning Cup most of them stop, so you want to assure them that we still consider them to be part of the programme.
"We have an under-23 tournament coming up soon, so we just want to bring them in so they can get a feeling of the programme and, hopefully, they come and show that they want to be part of it and bring something to the table. You never know, one or two of them might be included in the game coming up on the 31st," he added.
Whitmore believes the youngsters selected were outstanding in the schoolboy season and the Jamaica Football Federation wants them to know that their performance has not gone unnoticed.
He added: "We want to really reward them and, hopefully, they can come and reward us as well. It is a long-term thing and they are young and doing well at the schoolboy level so we just want the transformation.
"We are using these training camps to get in some games where they can gel and they can understand what the national programme is all about. The schoolboy football competition and the national programme are two different things, so you have to make them get accustomed. If they come and they work their way to the top, you can't knock them for that; you have to give them their chance."
The six overseas-based players who are currently in the island will also be part of the camp. These players are Shavar Thomas, Omar Cummings, Luton Shelton, Rafe Wolfe, Jason Morrison and Demar Stewart.
The camp will run from the January 11-15 before breaking for the weekend. It resumes between January 18-21, before reconvening in the run-up to the game.