Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:02 am Post subject: Strong Boyz prepare for home friendlies
|Overseas-based players invited to J'can squad
ANDREW HANCEL, Observer staff reporter
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
THE Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has announced a strong 25-man squad to begin preparation for
two home international friendlies against El Salvador and Guatemala on November 18 and 21, respectively.
The squad, which commences training tomorrow, is part of a promise delivered by returning JFF
president Captain Horace Burrell when he took over the reins of the country's football on November 4.
On paper, the blend of youth and experience seems one of the most powerful units assembled for
international duty in recent years. 1998 World Cup veteran Ian 'Pepe' Goodison heads the list of
17 overseas-based players. Goodison, who turns 35 on November 21, was bypassed for the past few
years as the previous administration focused on youth.
But with long-time friend Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore at the helm as interim head coach,
Goodison - who captains Tranmere Rovers in the English Division One League - has been
drafted to marshall the defence.
Other notable invites are defenders Tyrone Marshall and Shavar Thomas of Toronto FC and Chivas
USA, respectively, and striker Dane Richards of the New York Red Bulls.
National captain Ricardo Gardner of Englsih Premiership side Bolton Wanderers, Barnsley's Jamal
Campbell-Ryce and Ricardo Fuller have accepted invitations for the two friendlies.
Miami FC attacking player Sean Frazer is also pencilled in, along with the Belgian-based trio of Demar
Stewart, Rafe Wolfe and Jason Morrison.
In-form Watford striker Marlon King, whose ban has been lifted by the Burrell administration, will
not make the trip to Kingston due to unspecified reasons. Also not making the trip is Sheffield United
and Jamaica central defender Claude Davis, who is inactive because of an injury.
In preparing for his first assignment, Whitmore told the Observer yesterday most of the
players know what to expect because of their familiarity with him during his days as a player.
But regarding the squad, the 35-year-old Whitmore said: "These are just a set of the players that we've
been looking at. We would love to have Marlon King, but he's unavailable at this time.
"Thursday will be a light session because many of the players would have played for their clubs in the
(local) Premier League or just flown in from overseas," noted Whitmore, who will have veteran coach
Bradley Stewart as his assistant.
Following the two friendlies, the senior programme is expected to shift into high gear, with Whitmore
making way for the much anticipated return of Brazilian Rene Simoes, who guided the country to an
historic World Cup Finals appearance in France in 1998.
And with the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers to begin in three months, the challenge will be to get
the group playing consistently together before the CONCACAF Qualifiers start.
Until Saturday, the team will hold afternoon training sessions at the National Stadium, commencing
at four o'clock.
Squad - Donovan Ricketts, Richard McCallum, Duwayne Kerr goalkeepers); Damian Stewart,
Ian Goodison, Demar Stewart, Rafe Wolfe, Tyrone Marshall, Shavar Thomas, Wolry Wolfe,
Christopher Jackson (defenders); Sean Frazer, Jason Morrison, Ricardo Gardner, Omar Daley,
Jermaine Johnson, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Khari Stephenson, Rudolph Austin, Ricardo Geddes,
Damian Williams (midfielders); Luton Shelton, Ricardo Fuller, Dane Richards, Fabian Taylor (forwards).