Speid frustrated by 'overly physical' tackling

February 17, 2018
Arnett Gardens FC's Tamar Edwards clears an aerial ball from the path of Cavalier FC's Alex Marshall (right) during a Red Stripe Premier League match at the Stadium East Field last season.
Cavalier SC head coach Rudolph Speid

Rudolph Speid, technical director of the Cavalier SC, said he is concerned that little is being done by officials about what he describes as an overly physical Red Stripe Premier League.

“There is a belief that we are not getting enough protection for our players and we need some of that. There are some who come to play and then they are some who come to hurt. A lot of times I hear the very people around the opposing team telling their players to tackle my players because they are little boys,” said Spied.

“I don’t know if they can do anything, but what I can say is that the league's standard needs to come up. It’s about our coaching mentality of what constitutes a good defensive play, so I can’t put the blame on the administration and officials,” he added.

Spied, however, added that despite challenges in collecting evidence, officials could and should improve on examining off the ball incidents. 

“What I hate is the off the ball incidents that the officials keep on missing. I’m wondering why other officials don’t see these incidents. One of the biggest problems we have is that the video evidence is not readily available to see what goes on outside the normal eyes of the referees, which will also help the referees to get better,” said Speid.

He noted that Cavalier have five players suffering from injuries as a result of the harsh tackles he said they commonly receive, including Alex Marshall, whom he believes is the most tackled player in the league. He believes the defensive mindset of Jamaican players needs to change for the league to grow.

“A lot of people are running around believing that defenders must be able to tackle hard, which is really kind of stupid. Good defenders or defensive type of players actually win the ball without tackling. It is a mindset that Jamaican players have. No you’re not a good player, you’re a poor player, because you have to resort to the last effort, and that’s what tackling is."

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