I hold no grudges, former JFF President Boxhill says
Former Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Crenston Boxhill has added his voice to the call for the development of local players as the way forward for Jamaica's football.
Boxhill, who was in charge of the nation's football from 2003-2007 during which time Jamaica failed to advance to the 2006 campaign, is hurt by the failure to reach another World Cup Finals, since that historic berth in 1998.
"Something has to be wrong with what we are doing. I think a lot of things contributed to where we are at now. We need development of players and have better team selection," Boxhill, who was the Reggae Boyz manager during the 1998 successful World Cup campaign, told STAR Sports.
"I am hurt, like many Jamaicans, as football is my thing. Football is oxygen for me. I love it," he added.
Boxhill is ready to serve the football programme, but not as president again.
"It is not part of my thinking to return as President. I am still serving the sport in Manchester."
He is of the view that the local media need to be more investigative in dealing with football.
NOT PROPERLY INVESTIGATED
"One of the things has to do with the media. The sports journalists do not cover football like how they treat track and field and also cricket. There are so many things that happen in football that are not properly investigated. The journalists do not investigate more about football," he insisted.
Looking back, Boxhill said "it is impossible to replicate what was done during the 1998 campaign. There was always a local squad in training under (then) coach Rene Simoes. Now, it is difficult to have sustained camps with overseas based players. They are unavailable due to club duties."
"When Bora (Velibor Milutinovic) was here during my time, he wanted to develop local players. He took them abroad to play international games for the experience. It was not about results. We have the Caribbean Cup coming up later this year. The overseas players won't be available for that tournament
"I'm not knocking the media, but they need to do more. The journalists have an important role to play in informing about everything about the football. I think the media has let us down," he said.
Boxhill is adamant that the thinking behind the football policy has to change.
"I believe there needs to be change in the way we treat football. If the thinking doesn't change, we have to change personnel," he pointed out.
"In going forward, youth programmes must play a major part. It is a hell of an investment to do so with players from the Manning and daCosta Cup," Boxhill further said.
"I'm fully behind the development of local players. We can't operate the same way in going for mostly overseas players for each campaign. It is important to establish local players then supplement them with overseas players. However, we need players with commitment and passion to represent the country. We have players who don't understand our culture. I'm not against overseas players but they should be considered to supplement players we have here," he emphasised.
Boxhill was quick to point out that he does not hold any grudge against current president Captain Horace Burrell.
"I was very disappointed at the time in how he (Burrell) dealt with the football when he was out of office for four years. He lost in a democratic process and refused to assist in the programme. I don't hold any personal grudge. The disappointment went away a long time ago," Boxhill said.