Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:43 am Post subject: Veteran Theodore Whitmore takes over
|Veteran Reggae Boy named interim coach for friendlies
BY KAYON RAYNOR Observer Senior staff reporter
Sunday, November 11, 2007
FORMER Reggae Boyz captain Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore has been appointed interim head coach
of the national senior team for the two upcoming friendly internationals against El Salvador and
Guatemala later this month.
Newly elected president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, who made
the announcement yesterday, also disclosed that veteran Bradley Stewart will be Whitmore's assistant.
"The board of directors of the Jamaica Football Federation have decided to ask (former) player Mr Theodore
Whitmore, who is now the head coach at the Seba Club, which is leading in the Premier League. to be in
charge of preparing our national team for the next two encounters," Burrell revealed at a press
conference at the JFF's headquarters in New Kingston yesterday.
The announcement came days after the new administration sacked Serbian-born Velibor 'Bora'
Milutinovic as technical director on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Whitmore, who represented Jamaica in a host of international matches,
including the FIFA World Cup Finals in France in 1998 during his 12-year playing career, said he
cherished the opportunity to coach the national team.
"Since playing the game at the highest level and even more since I've started coaching, I think it's
fitting for me and an honour to be coaching at the highest level," said Whitmore, who scored both
goals in Jamaica's 2-1 win over Japan - the nation's only win in the World Cup.
The former midfielder, who made his international debut in 1993, played professionally in the United
Kingdom for Scottish club Livingston (2003-2004) as well as English sides Hull City (1999-2002) and
Tranmere Rovers (2004-2006).
"It makes me feel so proud to see that my... career has now gone one step farther. I know the
love that I have for this country and the confidence of this administration and Jamaicans. I know
success is a must," Whitmore added, noting that South Africa 2010 is firmly in his sights.
Stewart told the Sunday Observer he was excited about the appointment, albeit some 40 years after
he began his coaching career. "It's really a challenge at this stage, given what I think my role is, to
make sure that I help a coach that is young and coming but very enthused to make sure that he has
an opportunity to see both sides of the coin at the same time," said Stewart, who has coached
at all other levels during his career.
Meanwhile, marketing manager of Digicel Jamaica, Wayne Miller, told the Sunday Observer his company
jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the matches against El Salvador and Guatemala, having earlier
signed a four-year deal with the JFF which runs from 2007-2011.
"This (four-year) contract valued at over $72 million is our largest sponsorship to date and by
no means is an insignificant part of our plans and our efforts to renew Jamaica's national pride and
national development and by extension, the development of the national senior team," Miller said.
Asked when was this lucrative deal signed, Miller replied: "It was actually inked under the new
administration in. July, but we held off announcing it."
Miller also confirmed his company's support for the appointment of Whitmore as interim coach.
"We are confident that your interim coach is going to make us very proud as we reiterate our full
confidence in the ability of the team to restore the faith and pride that out people has reposed
in them," he said. And in a move which seems to counteract the previous administration's
emphasis on youth, captain Burrell indicated that veteran players including Ian 'Pepe' Goodison
have been drafted in the squad for this month's games, which are being sponsored by Digicel.
"My board has decided and agreed that the best 11 players must represent out country
at all times, where possible," Burrell said.
The JFF boss said overseas based players Tyrone Marshall, Luton Shelton, Ricardo Gardner, Ricardo Fuller,
Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Damian Stewart, Omar Daley, Jermaine Johnson and Donovan Ricketts will also
make the trip for the matches scheduled for November 18 and 21 at the National Stadium.
He revealed that a training camp, which will include local-based players, would commence this Wednesday.
The foreign-based players should start arriving in the island on Tuesday.