Former Reggae Boy Cummings urges World Cup bid bravery
Former national striker Omar Cummings is encouraging the current Reggae Boyz to be brave as the nation puts together plans for the next World Cup qualifying cycle.
Cummings, who made 35 appearances for the Reggae Boyz between 2008 and 2012, believes Jamaica have an excellent chance to make it to the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.
All three host nations will get an automatic berth at the global showpiece, with Jamaica being in contention to secure one of the three direct slots or the two inter-confederation play-off places.
"I know this is one of our best opportunities to make it into the World Cup, and the whole of Jamaica and Concacaf knows this. We need to be brave, and we need to realise that we are just as good as any of the teams, and we need to believe that," Cummings said.
Cummings, who played for Jamaica during the 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualifying campaigns, contends that the Concacaf nations know Jamaica's potential, as was evident when he played for the Reggae Boyz against Central and North America oppositions.
"Back in the day when I was playing, players from Mexico, Canada and the US would come up to me and ask why doesn't Jamaica play to their strength, and to me, I always wonder what would happen if we did just that," he said.
Cummings, who scored one of his seven international goals during a World Cup qualifier against Canada at the National Stadium in 2010, hopes new coach Heimir Hallgrimsson gets the players to unleash their full potential, starting with the upcoming assignments against Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.
"Jamaica have some of the best athletes with speed and skill on the ball, and we need to be utilising those strengths and be brave and not show teams too much respect as we have done in the past," he stated.
Cummings added that the new Icelandic coach must also look to formulate a nucleus of players as early as possible and try and work with that group until the qualifiers begin next year.