No holiday in football - Whitmore
National coach Theodore Whitmore warned his players that there is 'no holiday in football' after a 21-man senior squad started training on Emancipation Day in preparation for two upcoming international friendlies against Caribbean opponents.
Local players have traditionally avoided training on public holidays, but Whitmore told STAR Sports that all 21 players called up to the August 1 to 6 training squad turned up on time and have been giving 100 per cent in training.
"We have two (friendly) games coming up, so these camps are part of the preparation. But this is football and there is no holiday really in football. If they (players) want it (be part of the team), they have to show that interest and make sacrifices. It's just what the game requires, so we can't think about holidays where football is concerned," Whitmore said.
He pointed out that with the Red Stripe Premier League season fast approaching, it's important to have the camps to keep the players focused on their international ambitions.
"We have two games coming up and we are preparing for that, as we know Premier League is right around the corner. So we try to have the players as much as possible because they need to make the transition (to international football). Players are moving from club to club and they need to keep their focus on our objective," he said.
He says the training camp is also a great chance for young players to stake claims for places in the squad for the two friendlies.
"We will try to get a Premier League team that can give us some type of competition instead of playing just squad games. But this is a chance to give the youths proper exposure. We don't want to just bring them into camp, have them training, and don't have anything to look forward to. We will try to give as much exposure as possible. But it's definitely up to them to make the best of this opportunity," he stated.
The squad: Amal Knight, Dennis Taylor, Ladale Richie, Javain Brown, Ricardo Thomas, Tevin Shaw, Fabion McCarthy, Alex Marshall, Chevone Marsh, Peter Vassell, Deshane Beckford, Daniel Green, Barrington Pryce Kaheem Parris Kevaughn Atkinson Ajeanie Talbott, Shandel Senior, Ray Campbell, Malique Howell, Nickjay White and Nicolloyd Dinham.