'Professional' overseas Boyz made big difference - Waite
Jerome Waite has praised the professionalism of Jamaica's overseas-based Reggae Boyz and said their mannerism was instrumental in helping the national team recover from a Caribbean Cup final loss to reaching the final of the Gold Cup.
Waite was critical of Jamaica's players following their Caribbean Cup final defeat to Curacao and said the dramatic improvement in just a couple weeks was mainly the result of the professionalism of the overseas-based players and the one week camp prior to the team's departure.
"You really have to congratulate this team. They did extremely well and were excellent leading up to the final but the senior players who play overseas brought back the professionalism to the local based players and the camaraderie really improved day by day," he said, while singling out the MLS players. .
"What these MLS players portrayed as it relates to professional behaviour was amazing. They had their own team meeting, different from our technical meetings, to discuss the way forward and the local based players learned from them and improved every game and when they played you saw the difference as the tournament progressed," he said.
Waite noted that crucial to the team's chemistry which was so impressive at the Gold Cup, was the one week camp they held.
"The one week stint leading up to our travel overseas really made a big difference. We got a chance to get all the players together for the first time for a tournament and how we saw they applied themselves over the period was amazing and to see these players rise above expectation is really a dream come true," he said.
Waite added that with minor improvements this team is ready to take on the World Cup qualifiers.
"These players have shown they are ready to play. They have shown in the Gold Cup they can get the job done. They can only get better if they play more games and the more practise games they play the more they will believe in themselves and the more they will play as a unit."