JFF seeks right balance ahead of qualifiers
Amid the continued recruitment of England-based players to strengthen the Jamaica senior men's team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts says that they are keen to have the best players on the field, while having a mix of overseas and local players.
The JFF had expressed interest in notable English-based players, including Manchester United's Mason Greenwood and Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips, who have Jamaican parentage.
However, those players have since been called up to the England senior team in the recent slate of UEFA Nations League matches, where they both made their international debuts against Iceland and Denmark, respectively.
BEST TEAM AT ALL TIMES
Ricketts noted that while there are interested players who are going through the process of obtaining their Jamaican passports, he stressed that the commitment is to ensure that the local players are not left out.
"What we want to ensure is that we have the best team on the pitch at all times," he told STAR Sports. "I know for sure that some of these local players are just as good as some of those overseas."
Ricketts said that head coach Theodore Whitmore indicated which positions that he would need to have depth as he prepares for final-round qualifying, which begins in June 2021. Among the positions that Whitmore is interested to add depth are at centre back and at holding midfielder.
Long-time Reggae Boyz target Ravel Morrison is close to ready to join the squad, according to team manager Roy Simpson. The 27-year-old Morrison, whose parent club was Premier League outfit Sheffield United, spent the second half of the 2019-20 on loan to English Championship side Middlesbrough.
While saying that the recruitment is in the hands of the technical staff, Ricketts insists that the player's ability to improve the squad is main thing selectors will be looking for when making their assessments.
"We do not want to disenfranchise our local players for players overseas who are not better, and who will not serve us," he said.