Local talent the way forward

September 08, 2016
Ian Allen/Photographer Haiti's Ricardo Ade (centre) getting away from a tackle from Jamaica's Dever Orgill during Tuesday night's CONCACAF semi-final round Group B qualifier at the National Stadium. Looking on at left is Cory Burke. Haiti won 2-0.
Miguel Coley

Having been eliminated from 2018 World Cup Qualifying, the development of local talent is being projected as the way forward by Miguel Coley, assistant coach of Jamaica's senior men's national football team.

"I think there is a lot of introspection, a lot of discussions to be had in terms of the overall programme. There must be a sit-down to talk about the football properly," he stated.

"We have to be developing now, our talents. It's a responsibility, and I want to really answer that as correctly as possible, and I just don't want to jump up and say (anything), it is a huge responsibility and we have to do better. I have to do better, everybody has to do better," he challenged.

Incorporating local talent in the national team has been a main point of discussion for years. A vast percentage of the regulars are players born outside of Jamaica, but with Jamaican lineage. Close to a similar portion of the starters are Jamaican-born, who have secured contracts overseas. Then, there are the locals, who hardly figure.

The only time the country made it to the senior World Cup Finals France 1998 the core of the squad was Jamaica-based, with only four English-based additions towards the back-end of the campaign.


Coley underscored the values of formulating a foundation that is solid in quality and numbers.

"Sometimes you talk about players' availability ... and sometimes some players are not available for games, and it happens with every team, but based on the fact that our team pool is so small it may affect us more," he assessed.

"But there are a lot of things that we have to learn from, and as I said we can lose, but we can't lose the lesson.

" ... It starts with our base, we really need to prepare players here within our country and give them the best opportunity to really excel because this is the base and it has to be good," he underlined.

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