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Ricketts, the new keeper of the Galaxy
December 24, 2008
Donovan Ricketts, the 6-foot-4 goalkeeper for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, has been signed by Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy in their first winter signing. Ricketts has made 67 international appearances for Jamaica and was a member of Jamaica’s 1998 World Cup squad at the age of 21.

Donovan also represented Jamaica at the junior levels and came through the national ranks and started his professional career playing for F.C. Waddadah and Village United in the Jamaican league. He was signed by Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League in January 2004 and then sent on loan to Division 2 side Bradford City. Ricketts eventually signed with Bradford where he spent four years and made more than 115 apperances for the club.

In February 2008, Ricketts was denied a work permit when he tried to move to Queen's Park Rangers from Bradford City because of Jamaica's then low FIFA rankings in addition to not representing Jamaica in 75 percent of their 'A' games for the previous two years. He then returned to Jamaica and again signed with Village United where he played in the Digicel Premier League.

Now 31, Ricketts has played in 24 World Cup qualifying matches, including all eight of Jamaica’s games during qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he recorded three consecutive shutouts. He recently helped Jamaica to capture the championship crown in the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Championships. Galaxy's General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said he has always been impressed with the physical qualities of Ricketts and believes that he will be a great addition to the Galaxy team and the MLS. Read more in the forum

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz Kings of the Caribbean
Jamaica vs GrenadaDecember 15, 2008
Two penalties by Luton Shelton in both halves helped Jamaica to capture their fourth regional title as they defeated Grenada 2-0 in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Digicel Caribbean Championship at the National Stadium last night.

For winning the title, the Reggae Boyz walked away with the Championship trophy and US$120,000 (J$8.5m), while Grenada received US$70,000 for their runner-up spot.
In the opening game of the double-header, Guadeloupe took third place as they defeated Cuba 5-4 and collected US$50,000 with Cuba getting US$30,000.

Jamaica’s Eric Vernan was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Luton Shelton and Kithson Bain of Grenada ended as joint top scorers with five goals each.

Playing in front of a small crowd, the Reggae Boyz opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Andy Williams laid off to the diminutive Vernan who then beat his marker only to be cut down inside the penalty area. Shelton stepped up and easily converted from the spot to score his fourth goal of the competition. The half ended with Jamaica leading 1-0.

Jamaica started the second half with the dominance of the first and almost extended their lead in the 50th minute when Oneil Thompson headed a Demar Phillips' corner kick onto the crossbar. Grenada were not about to roll over and play dead as the mounted a number of attacks on the Jamaica goal including in the 59th minute, when Donovan Ricketts had to react quickly to block the effort the tournaments joint leading goalscorer, Kithson Bain.

As the game progressed, the Jamaican defenders were looking slow and shaky against the pressure of Grenada. Then, against the run of play, the speedy Vernan broke loose again and was fouled from behind by Dwayne Leo forcing the referee to point to the penalty spot. Again, Shelton calmly placed his shot wide of the diving goalkeeper for his fifth goal of the competition and taking the game out of the reach off Grenada. More in the Forum | Photos

Jamaica clinch final berth with win over Guadeloupe
December 12, 2008
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz scored a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 victory over 10-man Guadeloupe and booked their place in the final of the Digicel Caribbean Championships at the National Stadium last night. Jamaica and Grenada will meet in the final to be played at 'The Office' on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

A confident Jamaica dominated the game with a purposeful and professional performance with goals from Oneil Thompson in the 11th minute and the speedy Luton Shelton in the 57th minute giving Guadeloupe little to cheer about.

The Boyz opened the scoring on a Demar Phillips' right-sided corner that went to the far post for Norway-based Oneil Thompson to head into the goal giving the home team an 11th- minute lead.

The Jamaican team seemed content to dominate ball possession but were not very purposeful in their attack on goal during the first half and this frustrated the fans who booed as the period came to a close. The Reggae Boyz also lost their number one keeper, Donovan Ricketts who was taken off injured and replaced by substitute Dwayne Miller.

The Reggae Boyz supporter again got something to cheer about in the 57th minute as Luton Shelton produced a brilliant individual goal when he picked up a ball just beyond the half line and ran straight at the defenders, beating them with pace and used the outside of his boots to nudge the ball around the advancing keeper.

Jamaica had two more chances to extend their lead in the 71st and 76th minutes from a thunderous 25 yards shot by Austin that was blocked, and another Shelton breakaway run that he was unable to convert. The score remained 2-0 to the final whistle.

In the first semi-final game, Grenada advanced to their second Digicel Caribbean Cup final after beating favorites Cuba 6-5 in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out after playing to a 2-2 draw in regulation and extra-time. Read more in the forum

Boyz draw with Warriors to secure semi-final spot in the Digicel Caribbean Cup
December 8, 2008
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz played to a 1-1 draw with rivals Trinidad and Tobago to win Group A and advanced to the semi-finals of the Caribbean Football Union's (CFU) Digicel Caribbean Championship in their games at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium yesterday. The Group win also qualifies Jamaica for the CONCACAF Gold Cup after failing to advance to the last staging.

Scoring in his second straight game, Eric Vernan's goal in the 46th minute gave Jamaica a second-half lead, but they gave it up in the 80th minute when Errol McFarlane's equalized for the former champions.

Jamaica topped Group A with seven points, from two wins and a draw, with finished in the runners-up spot after beating Barbados 4-2 in the first game of the double header. Grenada created football history for their country and qualified for the CONCACAF tournament after finishing to Jamaica. Kithson Bain scored the first hat-trick of the tournament to take his tally to four in the competition and Grenada for the first time, qualified for the CONCACAF tournament.

The fair size did not have much to cheer for in what can be described as a lack luster and boring performance by the Boyz. After the dull first half, Vernan brought the Reggae Boyz supporters to their feet when he collected a pass from the right side by Andy Williams and sped past the T&T defense before looping the ball over the head of goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams.

Vernan almost double the score in the 77th minute when he was broke through the middle of the Trinidad area but lost control of the ball with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Trinidad leveled the score with 10 minutes when to go when Jamaica's goalkeeper Donovan Rickets failed to hold on to the ball after blocking a shot and McFarlane powered home form inside the six-yard area. The Soca Warriors pressed hard for the winner, but were denied by the Reggae Boyz defense.

Jamaica's coach, John Barnes, expressed disappointment in the lethargic performance of his team but said he was happy that they are in the semi-finals.

CUBA became the first semi-finalists in the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Cup when they defeated Antigua and Barbuda 3-0 to win Group B. Read more in the Forum

Boyz Dominant in Win over Grenada
December 6, 2008
Host Jamaica took a step closer to securing a place in the semi-finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup after beating Grenada 4-0 in their Group A game at Jarrett Park last night. Jamaica now tops the Group with six points from two wins ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada who are on three points each.

Eric Vernan, Luton Shelton, Andy Williams and Demar Phillips were on target for the Reggae Boyz in a game they dominated from start to finish.

Cheered on by about 5,000 spectators, Jamaica opened the scoring in the eighth minute when an unmarked Vernan latched onto a cross from Dane Richards and fired the Reggae Boyz into the lead.Shelton made it 2-0 when he headed home a corner from Phillips giving Jamaica the half time lead.

Andy Williams got on the score sheet seven minutes into the second half when won possession inside the penalty area and placed his shot between the legs of goalkeeper James Raeburn, making the score 3-0. Jamaica’s final goal came in the 77th minute when substitute Roland Dean broke through Grenada’s defense and passed to Phillips, who easily made it 4-0.

In the first game of the afternoon's double-header, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) came-from-behind to win 2-1 against Barbados. T&T will next face Jamaican at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium on Sunday. Read more in the Forum

Boyz Come From Behind To Win 2-1 In DigiCup Opener
December 3, 2008
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz pulled off a come from behind 2-1 win over Barbados in their opening game of the Digicel Caribbean Championships at the National Stadium in Jamaica last night

Trailing Barbados from a 46th minute strike by Riviere Williams, goals from Rudolph Austin (76th minute) and then from the penalty spot by Luton Shelton (82nd) lifted the Boyz to win the game in which they dominating ball possession. The win was the first under the full guidance of new head coach John Barnes, and secured three points and joint leadership of Group A with Grenada, who defeated Trinidad and Tobago by the same margin in the opening game.

With about 4,000 spectators in attendance getting anxious at what seemed like an impending defeat, Jamaica finally equalized against a sturdy Barbadian defense, with a neat chip by Eric Vernan over the backline that gave Rodolph Austin an easy volley past the goalkeeper. The Boyz constant pressure forced defender Bryan Neblett to handled the ball in the penalty area six minutes late and Luton Shelton firmly placed the penalty kick down the middle to give Jamaica their winning goal to the relief of the Reggae Boyz supporters.

Jamaica will next play tomorrow when they tackle Grenada at Jarrett Park at 7:00 pm, while Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors face Barbados at the same venue at 5:00. Read more in the Forum

Reggae Boyz Seek Winning Start in The Digicel Caribbean Cup
December 3, 2008
The Digicel Caribbean Cup Football Finals kicks off this evening with the Group A double-header at the National Stadium. The competition starts at 5 o'clock with Trinidad & Tobago tackling Grenada in the opening match followed by Jamaica and Barbados in the feature game at 7:00 pm. Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will be under the guidance of former England international, John Barnes, who now starts his official stint as Jamaica's new coach.

Group B contestants Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda, number-one ranked Caribbean team Cuba and defending champions Haiti are the other qualifiers. They will open their campaign tomorrow in a Jarrett Park double-header.

The games will be played on a round-robin format with the top two countries from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to advance from Group A but will face stiff competition from the other challengers. The top four semi-finalists will also gain automatic qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, to be played next year in North America

The Reggae Boyz have a strong squad which includes Goalkeepers Donovan Ricketts, Dwayne Miller; defenders Tyrone Marshall, Shavar Thomas, Adrian Reid, Demar Stewart, Eric Vernan, O'Brian Woodbine, Keneil Moodie; midfielders Rudolph Austin, Sean Fraser, Andrew Williams, Wolry Wolfe, Oneil Thompson, Jason Morrison, Rafe Wolfe; forwards Roland Dean, Omar Cummings, Luton Shelton and Dane Richards.

The winner of the Digicel Caribbean Cup will pocket US$120,000 and the Digicel Caribbean Championship Trophy. More in the forum

Jamaica beats Canada 3-0 but fails to advance in World Cup qualifying
KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 19, 2008

Goals by Luton Shelton, Marlon King and Omar Cummings gave Jamaica a 3:0 win over Canada on Wednesday in a failed attempt by the Reggae Boyz to advance to the final phase of World Cup qualifying.

The win was Jamaica’s third straight Group B victory as the Reggae Boyz finished with 10 points in semifinal round. Honduras won the group with 12 points, with Mexico and Jamaica tied on ten. Mexico advanced over Jamaica on goal difference.

Luton Shelton sent the sell-out crowd into frenzy in the 27th minute as he picked up a through pass from Demar Phillips and then skipped around goalkeeper Lars Hirschfield before slotting home. It was the second goal in as many matches for the 23-year-old striker, who plays for Norwegian club Valerenga. Shelton is also Jamaica’s leading goal scorer of the tournament.

King, who plays for English Premiership side Wigan Athletic, added a penalty in the 58th after Demar Phillips was tripped up inside the penalty box and then in the 86th minute, Colorado Rapids striker Omar Cummings, slid home an Ian Goddison’s cross.

After drawing 1-1 with Canada and then losing to Mexico and Honduras its first three semifinal round games away from home, Jamaica then rallied to three straight victories after replacing technical director Rene Simoes with Theodore Whitmore as coach of the team.

Former England and Liverpool hero John Barnes is now officially the new technical director of Jamaica’s football program and now joins Whitmore for the Digicel Caribbean Championship finals to be hosted by Jamaica December 3-14. Read More in the Forum

King and Williams Recalled for Canada Match
November 14, 2008
On form Hull City striker Marlon King, Andy Williams and Fabian Taylor have been recalled to the Reggae Boyz squad as Jamaica prepares to take on Canada in a crucial World Cup qualification show-down on November 19.

King's appearance will be the first of the semi-final round as he was omitted from the national squad by former technical director René Simoes for away games to Canada, Mexico and Honduras, and was forced to sit out the return games against Mexico and Honduras with injuries. Interim coach, Theodore Whitmore, said yesterday that "We are looking for goals and Shelton and Fuller have been playing well so King will be a welcome addition to the squad."

Veteran Andy Williams, who played in the away qualifiers to Canada, Mexico and Honduras did not play in the home games against Mexico and Honduras and will replace Jermaine Hue who was called for those encounters. Former Harbour View FC marksman Fabian Taylor, has been having an outstanding season for Norwegian club Notodden FK scoring 15 goals and is receiving his first call-up of the campaign.

The full list of players called are Donovan Ricketts, Shawn Sawyers, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Damion Stewart, Claude Davis, Tyrone Marshall, Shavar Thomas, Rudolph Austin, Oneil Thompson, Demar Phillips, Jermaine Johnson, Andy Williams, Wolry Wolfe, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Jason Morrison, Ricardo Fuller, Luton Shelton, Marlon King, Omar Cummings, Dane Richards, Fabian Taylor. Read More in the Forum

Reggae Boyz Win
November 6, 2008
GEORGETOWN, Cayman Islands - New national coach John Barnes was a satisfied man following Jamaica’s 6-1 win over a Cayman Islands All-Star team at the Truman Bodden Stadium on Wednesday Night in their first of two games during a one-week training camp on the island.

A double from midfielder Ricardo Cousins (22nd and 63rd) and single strikes from fellow midfielder Jermaine Hue (9th), forwards Jermaine Anderson (11th) and Marcelino Blackburn (78th) as well as defender Desmond Breakenridge (75th) gave the Reggae Boyz a massive win over their less fancied opposition. Deosar Gonzalez scored for the Cayman All-Stars.

Despite the margin of the win, what made Barnes, who presiding over the national team in a competitive match for the first time, was the manner in which the Boyz carried out their duties.

“I expected us to win and win convincingly but I was looking to see if they would take my instructions on board in terms of the way I wanted them to play. It was difficult because of the conditions - it was raining and the field was wet but they did well,” a pleased Barnes said.

“The goals were very pleasing but I got more pleasure from the transition and the patterns that they were weaving,” added Barnes who shone as a player for Liverpool and England in the 80s and 90s.

The small but vociferous crowd which turned up for the game seemed in full agreement with Barnes pronouncement as they openly voiced their appreciation of the way the team played. That response was expected of Jamaican supporters but even supporters of the local team applauded the visitors even expressing the view that they got their money’s worth.

For Barnes the performance was a good platform for the future and more immediately for the Digicel Caribbean Championships, the main focus of this week-long training camp in the Cayman Islands.

“I can see the beginnings of an identity – how I want them to play as a team. Even when the substitutes went on (they) fitted in seamlessly.

“The changes were made and the intensity did not drop. This is the attitude that we have to have all the time no matter who we play,” added Barnes who introduced nine substitutes in the second half.

Among the substitutes who really impressed Barnes with their professionalism during and after the game were Rodolph Austin and Omar Cummings who arrived in the island on the morning of the game.

“Austin and Cummings are professionals so they know what to expect and how to perform. They came in on the day, were introduced in the second half and to performed. You saw the work that they were doing after the game.

“At the end of the game Austin called over Cummings and they did some more sprints. What this shows is that the potential is there in Jamaica but the difference is exposure and the attitude will be different with exposure,” Barnes explained.

He added: “I have heard talk before about Jamaican footballers and their attitude when they go abroad but as soon as they get settled they get carried by the attitude and the approach.”

As far as Sunday’s game is concerned Barnes said Wednesday’s result will not influence his plans providing everyone remains fit.

“I always had in my head teams that I would play for both games and I saw what I expected to see so whatever I saw will not influence my thinking as it relates to Sunday’s game. I will always play my strongest team,” Barnes offered.

JAMAICA- Shawn Sawyers (Dwayne Miller), Jermaine Taylor (capt.) (Andre Darby), Adrian Reid, Lance Laing, Eric Vernan (Desmond Breakenridge), Nicholy Finlayson (Rodolph Austin), Keneil Moodie , Ricardo Cousins (Omar Cummings) Jermaine Hue (Andrae Campbell), Roland Dean (Marcelino Blackburn) , Jermaine Anderson (Denzil Watson).

JFF gets more time on $22m debt

The Jamaica Football Federation and the England Football Association (The FA) have reached an agreement that the debt of ($22m) £135,000 owed by the latter to the former will not be looked at until after the 2010 World Cup, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Both parties met in London on Tuesday. “Having heard about all the circumstances, The FA agreed to defer consideration of the debt until after the 2010 World Cup,” revealed Sir Treisman, Chairman of The FA. “The JFF also provided details of a youth development facility that was first discussed in principle with representatives of The FA earlier this year. The two parties agreed to further expand on these talks,” he said.

Sir Treisman noted that the JFF acknowledged the outstanding debt to The FA, arising from a friendly match played at Old Trafford on June 3, 2006.

"I think that from everything that I've heard from my colleagues, the proposal should fit into the International Development Programme that we have been running for nine years now, so hopefully it will fit well into that," he said, referring to the proposal by the JFF to eventually utilize the funds to assist in local football development.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell, whose one-year administration inherited the debt from the previous JFF administration, was obviously grateful to The FA for its understanding.

"It has allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief, because if we were forced to pay this debt at this time, it would have been a disaster to our football programmes, so I want to record my gratitude to Sir Treisman and The FA for their understanding," he said.

“With all factors considered I am satisfied with the approach taken by The FA. It was very important for us to have direct dialogue with the new administration because Jamaica would have found itself in a more embarrassing situation in light of the fact that with a new administration we would have been called on to pay this debt.

“So serious was this situation that it was reported to FIFA, which could have had consequences if we failed to pay. So I want to take this opportunity to thank Peter Hargitay, our European advisor, who quickly arranged a face-to-face meeting with the chairman of The FA to discuss this matter in details.

“The FA has expressed understanding with our current financial standing, including a debt inherited of over $100 million, and hence is willing to work with this administration in dealing with the situation,” Burrell said.

Jamaica sinks Honduras 1-0
October 16, 2008
Following up on Saturday’s shocking 1-0 win over Mexico, Jamaica repeated the performance with a 1-0 win against Honduras to keep their hopes alive in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers Wednesday at National Stadium.

Striker Luton Shelton struck in the 16th minute to score his sixth goal of the 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign and to give The Reggae Boyz two consecutive home wins under interim coach Theodore Whitmore who replaced Rene Simoes. Under Simoes, Jamaica opened Group B with a 1-1 draw against Canada and then lost to Mexico 3-0 and 2-0 to Honduras which left them at the bottom of the table in the first round of group play.

The victory propelled Jamaica into third place with seven points, with Honduras on 9 and Mexico on 10 points. Jamaica now needs a victory against Canada on November 19 and for Mexico to defeat Honduras to ensure a spot in the final round of qualifying .

Team Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Tyrone Marshall, Ian Goodison, Claude Davis (Damion Stewart 63rd), Oneil Thompson, Ricardo Gardner, Demar Phillips, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Omar Daley (Omar Cummings 71st), Ricardo Fuller (Dane Richards 77th), Luton Shelton. Booked: Campbell-Ryce (27th), Phillips (39th), Daley (49th). Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Shavar Thomas, Wolry Wolfe, Jermaine Johnson. More in the Forum

Jamaica stuns Mexico to keep World Cup dream alive.
October12, 2008
A 14th minute goal from Ricardo Fuller gave Jamaica a 1-0 victory over Mexico in their make-or-break CONCACAF World Cup Semi-Final round qualifier at the National Stadium. It was only the second time in 19 career meetings that Jamaica has been victorious over their CONCACAF opponent.

The result kept the Reggae Boyz hopes of advancing to the final round alive as they moved off the bottom of Group B to four points. Mexico is now tied with Honduras at top of the standings with nine points as Honduras ended Canada’s hopes with 3-1 win.

Fuller’s goal came in the 14th minute when he picked up a pass from Luton Shelton, pushed the ball to his left foot and lifted a shot from the top of the arc catching goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez off his line as he lunged hopelessly backward.

Jamaica kept the pressure on Mexico as both teams battled with determination and in the 65th minute Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s shot from outside the penalty area was blocked by Sanchez. Campbell-Ryce was outstanding all night as he constantly dismantled the Mexican defenders with his deft touches and dangerous crosses.

Mexico’s best chance to equalize came in the 73rd minute when Rafael Marquez’s header hit the post and bounced wide. From then on the Jamaican defense held strong,smothering the Mexican forwards and clearing anything that came into the box. Jamaica, which virtually needs to win its last two games at home will next play Honduras on Wednesday at the national stadium.

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Tyrone Marshall, Ian Goodison, Claude Davis (Damion Stewart 75th), Oneil Thompson (Jermaine Johnson 79th), Demar Phillips, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Rudolph Austin, Ricardo Gardner, Ricardo Fuller (Omar Cummings 71st), Luton Shelton. Booked: Fuller (37th), Austin (62nd), Marshall (68th), Thompson (76th).

Lovel Palmer 74th Minute Strike Shoots Harbour View FC Into Premier League Lead
October 5, 2008.Scoring all three goals in the last two games, former team Captain, Lovel Palmer is enjoying another early season “Purple-Patch” as the he scored another match winner last evening at the Harbour View Home Stadium.

The League leaders grabbed the three point advantage to rush to 10 points, when the heavy downpours islandwide  stopped three of the six afternoon games as the rains stayed away from the Compounds.

A below par first half saw HVFC’s spirited start not yielding a leading goal this time, then Rivoli United’s stout-hearted defensive stance blocked, bullied and sometimes frustrated the more adventurous “Stars of the East”.

Rivoli accounted well for themselves in that spell as shots from distance were well saved by goalkeeper, Dwayne Miller resulting in two corners which were eventually thwarted before Harbour View reconstructed attacks mainly through left wingback Lance Laing.

Showing improved team-play the boys from Spanish Town pushed there charges more into the battle-lines of the game up to halftime.

Remodeled by the newly selected TVJ's "Coach for the Month of September" Waldemar De Oliviera, the “Stars of the East” shun brightest the longer the game grew as superior ball-movement eclipsed the stodgy defensive ploy of Rivoli, as shots had started falling like rain on the visitors goal with former HVFC custodian, Leighton Murray who stopped five spectacular attempts from Kavin Bryan, Dicoy Williams’ header, Freekicks from Jermaine Hue and Lance Laing before the shot of the game when Richard Edwards drove on target from 20 yards for Murray to parry magnificently for a corner.

Murray soon after fumbled, snatched and failed miserably when Palmer’s chip from the left-side of the penalty box eluded his grasp as he conceded the match winner, and for Palmer his fourth in the competition, making him joint leading goalscorer with Sporting Central Academy’s, Hughan Gray.

Next Sunday, HVFC travels to Reno FC in St. Elizabeth at 3:30pm.

OTHER MATCH RESULTS:
Sporting Central Academy  2   Arnett Gardens   1
Tivoli Gardens   1    Village United   0

All other games rescheduled due to heavy rains.
Waterhouse FC and Meadhaven United
Portmore United and Reno FC
Boys Town and St. Georges SC (were 1-1 after 55 minutes)

Barnes Named New Coach Of Reggae Boyz
John BarnesThe Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) at its Extra-Ordinary Board Meeting held today, Tuesday, 16 September, unanimously ratified the decision announced by its President Captain Horace Burrell to sever ties with Technical Director, Rene Simoes and the full contingent of Brazilian staff with immediate effect. It was agreed that based on recent developments, this separation was in the best interest of the Federation.

The JFF Board expressed its profound appreciation for the tremendous contribution to Jamaica’s football by Mr. Simoes and wishes for him and his Brazilian colleagues all the best in their future endeavors. The JFF is of the view that Mr. Simoes’ legacy will forever be enshrined in the annals of Jamaica’s sporting history and his association with the nation’s football has created in a very significant way the international appeal and local enthusiasm in the football product at the levels of players, coaches, administrators, government, corporate and spectator support. This is the level of popularization that the JFF is confident has created the platform for it to build its long term development programme.

The JFF wishes to announce the appointment of former England International and Jamaican born, Mr. John Barnes as the new National Coach for the Senior Football Team. Mr. Barnes will take up official duties on November 1 and will be in charge of the preparation of the national team for the Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC) between December 1 to 15, the CONCACAF Gold Cup scheduled for June 2009, and the Final Round World Cup Qualifiers in 2009, should Jamaica advance to this stage of the competition. Mr. Barnes’ contract will be reviewed following the afore-mentioned events.

Mr. Barnes played professional football for Watford, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic in the Premier league and League Championship. He made 409 appearances for Liverpool scoring 108 goals. He was voted Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year 1988 and 1990 and PFA Footballer of the Year 1988. In 1997 he was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen.

In the summer of 1999 Mr. Barnes joined Scottish giants Celtic as Head Coach, where he laid the foundations for the club’s future success including overseeing the redevelopment of the team with the recruitment of Henrik Larsson among others.

He has since joined Channel 5 (England) and is the channel’s principle football presenter and regularly brings his insightful knowledge and understanding of football to television screens around the world.
Further, the JFF wishes to announce that former national player and current Assistant National Coach, Mr. Theodore Whitmore will take charge of the very important remaining World Cup Qualifying games at home. Mr. Whitmore will continue as Assistant National Coach to Mr. Barnes, following these semi-final round games.

Mr. Barnes will attend the afore-mentioned games to observe proceedings as well as lend moral support to Mr. Whitmore and the national senior team. He is due to arrive in Jamaica on Wednesday, 8 October for the Mexico game scheduled for Saturday, 11 October, and departs Thursday, 16 October following the Honduras game on Wednesday, 15 October, both games to be played at the National Stadium in Kingston.

In the meantime, the JFF has mandated its Technical Committee to finalize work on the National Development Plan commissioned a few months ago, in time for presentation at the Board of Directors Meeting slated for next November. This plan should include the coaching recommendations for all the remaining national teams, namely:
1. U23 Men
2. U20 Men
3. U17 Boys
4. U15 Boys
5. Senior Women
6. U20 Women
7. U17 Girls
8. U15 Girls

Also, it is expected that the national coaching development programme will be tabled at the afore-mentioned meeting...More in the Forum

Rene Simoes sacked over poor results
September 12, 2008
THE JAMAICA Football Federation's (JFF) has relieved national technical director René Simoes of his duties following Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to Honduras. Poor result in recent qualifying games were listed as the reason to fire Simoes and his assistants Alfredo Montesso, Chico Santos, Walter Gama and his son, Luciano.

It was Jamaica's second loss in five days, following a 0-3 defeat to Mexico at the Azteca on Saturday. Both results, along with a 1-1 draw against Canada have left Jamaica at the bottom of the table in Group Two on one point with three matches left. Mexico leads the group with the maximum nine points from three games, while Honduras are second on six. The top two teams from the group will advance to the six-nation CONCACAF Finals.

It was an unfortunate outcome for Simoes, who replaced Serbian Velibor 'Bora' Milutinovic after he was fired by Captain Burrell last year when he regained the presidency of the JFF. A remorseful Simoes certainly had not expected such an eventuality and told journalists that it was difficult to describe his feelings as this time things didn't work exactly as we planned.

The players and the media were informed by Burrell of the firing just before the delegation boarded an American Airlines flight from San Pedro Sula to Miami. Burrell stated that within a week a replacement would be identified for the program as Jamaica still has a chance of qualifying. Read more in the forum

Jamaica falls 2-0 to Honduras
Sept 11, 2008
Second-half goals by Ramon Nunez and Amado Guevara pushed Honduras t a 2-0 win overJamaica on Wednesday in their Group B semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The victory gave Honduras six points and consolidated its second-place position behind Group B leader Mexico who defeated Canada 2-1. The defeat left Jamaica at the bottom of the table with one point and behind Canada on goal difference.

In the first half, the Reggae Boyz seemed content to sit back and to soak up the pressure of the more aggressive Honduras and occasionally venturing forward on the counterattack. Although frustrated by Jamaica's defensive posture, Honduras pushed forward, urged on by a crowd of approximately 40,000 at Olympic Stadium.

In the 49th minute Jamaica had the first real threat when Wolry Wolfe's free kick was saved by goalkeeper Noel Valladares. Then in the 60th minute Honduras took the lead when Nunez scored off a pass from Inter Milan's David Suazo. Honduras then doubled it's advantage in the 73rd minute from a penalty kick taken by Guevara.

Honduras has never lost at home to Jamaica in a World Cup qualifying match, winning four and drawing once, while posting four consecutive shutouts.
Jamaica's three remaining matches will be played at home.

Early goals give Mexico 3-0 victory over Jamaica
Sept. 7, 2008
First half goals from Andres Guardado and Fernando Arce led Mexico to an easy 3-0 victory over Jamaica on Saturday, securing El Tri’s lead atop Group B in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Jamaica got off to a terrible start as Guardado put Mexico ahead in the third minute with a curling left-footed free kick from 20 yards that went over the wall and beat the diving Donovan Ricketts inside his near post. The early goal put Jamaica on the defensive as Mexico took control of the match it dominated before it's home crowd at Azteca Stadium.

In the 33rd minute Mexico doubled the advantage when Arce pouncing on a loose ball played back inside the penalty box and unleashed a shot from the middle of the penalty area. The half ended with Jamaica on the defensive and struggling to put passes together as their midfield was non-existent the entire first half.

The second half saw Mexico picking up where they left off before the break as they struck again in the 63rd minute when Jonny Magallon converted off a corner kick by striking a left-footed shot while leaning backward 10 yards from goal. Jamaica tried to give a better showing in the second half but only threatening the goal once with cracking shot from Austin that forced Sanchez to make a diving save. The victory gave Mexico six points atop Group B.

The result was the sixth straight victory for Mexico over Jamaica, all in World Cup qualifying or the CONCACAF Gold Cup™, since Jamaica managed a 0:0 draw in 1997 in qualifying for the World Cup.The return leg, originally scheduled to be played in Mexico will now be played in Jamaica as the game change was due the damage in Jamaica caused by Hurricane Gustav.

The Reggae Boyz will depart Mexico early today for their third straight road match on Wednesday when it travels to San Pedro Sula to face Honduras. Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Jermaine Taylor, Tyrone Marshall, Evan Taylor (Keneil Moodie 53rd), Rudolph Austin, Demar Phillips (Wolry Wolfe 46th), Andy Williams, Ricardo Fuller, Deon Burton (Luton Shelton 72nd).
Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Obrian Woodbine, Davion Thorpe, Jermaine Hue. Booked: E Taylor (17th), Austin (30th), Phillips (39th)

Boyz game shifted to Mexico instead of the Office
September 1, 2008
Shavar ThomasThe Reggae Boyz Group B first leg encounter between Jamaica and Mexico will now be played this Saturday in Mexico City instead of at Jamaica's National Stadium. The game which was originally Jamaica's home game, was changed after the FIFA Stadiums review Commission determined that the condition of the playing surface at the National Stadium had deteriorated due to tropical storm Gustav.

After the consideration of a number of options, including playing the game at a neutral venue, playing on a non-official FIFA date or reversing the fixture with Jamaica playing Mexico in Mexico City this Saturday and Mexico returning to Jamaica on October 11, it was determined that the latter would be the best option for Jamaica.

In preparation for the Mexico game on Sept. 6 and Honduras Sept. 10, technical director Rene Simoes has called 11 overseas-based players to join the local contingent in training. Included in the call up are Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller and defender Shavar Thomas of US Major League Soccer team Chivas USA. Fuller missed the opening World Cup semi-final fixture against Canada in Toronto on August 20 as he was recovering from a knee injury he received while representing Jamaica in last qualifying round. Thomas, who will help to bolster the defense was last called for the March 26 friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, but sat as a substitute.

The other overseas-based players called are Tyrone Marshall, Andy Williams, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Demar Phillips, Luton Shelton, Rudolph Austin, Wolry Wolfe and Deon Burton. The players are scheduled to begin arriving on Sunday through Tuesday and will join the yet to be named local-based players in training.

Jamaica and Canada are on one point each in the four-team Group B, earned from their 1-1 draw in Canada. Mexico leads the group with maximum three points after defeating Honduras 2-1 at the Azteca. More in the Forum

Reggae Boyz snatch crucial point against Canada
August 21, 2008
JAMAICA'S REGGAE Boyz got off to a good start in the semi-final-round campaign with a 1-1 draw against Canada in their Group Two CONCACAF World Cup qualifier at BMO Field in Canada.

A 47th minute goal by Julian de Guzman put Canada into the lead while Jamaica's Andy Williams equalised with a curling right-side corner to silence the home crowd in the 52nd minute. The game was the first in this phase of the qualifying series, which consists of three groups of four teams playing on a home and away basis.

Both teams began tentatively with heavy focus on possessing the ball and a lot of diagonal passes at the back in the opening minutes. Gradually, Canada, picked up the pace launching a series of assaults in the Reggae Boyz half of the field. Jamaica seemed content to defend as there was not much commitment to get forward up to the 25th minute. Canada appeared frustrated at times and Jamaicas strategy seemed to be working as it took some of the flair out of their opponents while launching a few attacks of their own. The first half ended goaless

Immediately on the resumption the hosts took the lead through the wily de Guzman who hit a grounder across goal into the far post for a 47th-minute lead. Jamaica responded positively and equalised in the 52nd minute when Williams scored directly from the corner as his curling ball beat the advancing Canadian 'keeper. Jamaica contained their opponents for the remainder of the game to steal a share of the points away from home.

Jamaica next play Mexico in World Cup qualifying at the National Stadium on September 6.

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Obrian Woodbine, Jermaine Taylor, Ian Goodison, Ricardo Gardner, Evan Taylor, Rudolph Austin, Demar Phillips (Jermaine Hue 90th+), Wolry Wolfe (Omar Cummings 87th), Andy Williams (Luton Shelton 64th), Deon Burton.
Booked: Williams (45th+)
Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Demar Stewart, Keneil Moodie, Davion Thorpe

Canada - Pat Onstad, Mike Klukowski, Richard Hastings, Adrian Serioux, Paul Stalteri, Atiba Hutchinson, Patrice Bernier (Iain Hume 65th), Julian de Guzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Tomasz Radzinski, Rod Friend (Ali Gerba 78th).
Booked: De Rosario (25th), Serioux (54th), Hutchinson (68th)
Subs not used: Greg Sutton, Daniel Imhof, Kevn McKKenna, Jim Brenna
More in the Forum

Bolt sets world record, wins Olympic 100 gold
Usain Bolt sets new world record in winning the Olympic 100-meter gold medal Saturday in 9.69 seconds
See Video Here

Reggae Boyz Squad called up for Canada Game
Augut 13, 2008
Harbour View's midfield general, Jermaine Hue, heads a list of home based Reggae Boyz named in a squad of 20 players selected for Jamaica’s opening game in the semi-final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. Also set to make an appearance with the senior team is 18-year-old Reno midfielder Davion Thorpe along with his club mate Evan Taylor who made his debut in the previous round.

Other players of interest that have been called include Sporting Central midfielder Jevaughn Watson along with Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings who made his debut in June against St Vincent and the Grenadines. Technical director Simoes has shown much interest in Cummings and was full of praise for the players movement on and off the ball.

Also included in the squad are regulars, captain Ricardo Gardner, Tyrone Marshall, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, Rodolph Austin, Demar Phillips, Luton Shelton and Andy Williams. The surprise omission was 28-year-old striker Marlon King who has served the Reggae Boyz well in the past but it is rumored that his outspoken personality may have led to him being dropped.

The full list of players called are: Goalkeepers – Ricketts, Shawn Sawyers; Defenders – Marshall, Ian Goodison, Keneil Moodie, O’Brian Woodbine, Demar Stewart, Jermaine Taylor; Midfielders – Austin, Thorpe, Evan Taylor, Watson, Hue, Gardner, and Wolry Wolfe; Forwards – Deon Burton, Cummings and Williams.

The team is scheduled to depart Saturday morning for Toronto and will face canada on Wednesday Canada and then return on Thursday following game. Read More in the Forum

MARLON KING AXED!
KingAugust 7, 2008
By Earl Bailey
When the national anthems are being played before Jamaica face Canada in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Toronto on August 20, Marlon King will not be around. King, one of the leading strikers for Jamaica over the last four years has not been recalled to the squad by Technical Director Rene Simoes.

“He has not yet received a call up for that game as yet,” responded the media manager of Wigan Athletic, when contacted Wednesday by JamaicaWin.com. “Maybe he will get a call soon.” That was the response given regarding King’s call up for the game against Canada.

Technical director Rene Simoes then confirmed that all the players for this game have been officially notified. “All the players have been called,” Simoes said. “The final list will be made public when we finish the camp (on August 14).” King is therefore out.

King last played for Jamaica against the Bahamas in the first of two games at the National Stadium, scoring once in a 7-0 thrashing. Perhaps the writing was on the wall in the second game when he sat on the substitute’s bench for the 90 minutes.

In a letter to the media last month, Simoes hinted that there would be surprises.  After speaking about discipline, self control, developing a winning habit and developing a positive and creative attitude, perhaps the most telling of all the passages would be the following: “Dear Jamaicans, these are the things we are working with our players, some will be there some will not. I will not compromise my principles in the name of a player, or the clubs or the persons who are connected to them,” he said in the ‘letter.’

Prompted by this letter which can be seen in its entirety on JamaicaWin.com, calls were made to clubs in England enquiring about the call up of Jamaican players to the squad for this game.

“We have to work as a team,” Simoes pointed out as he waited on his players after a practice match where they beat Premier League team Harbour View 2-1. “I have no time to work with those who cannot fit into the unit. When I came here the first time I had enough time to make changes as we went along. On this occasion, we have to work with those who can fit into the team.”

He went on to say that football has changed over the years to the point where any team can do without any one player. “Manchester United has not done badly since David Beckham moved to Real Madrid,” he pointed out.

This would not be the first time that Simoes has picked teams without some of Jamaica’s most celebrated players. Walter Boyd and Onandi Lowe come to mind, but there were others who were left off on various occasions as the Brazilian found them wanting. King was suspended for two years in 2006 by the past JFF administration for indiscipline, but he was reinstated by the new administration after the elections last November.

King made his debut for Jamaica against Venezuela in April, 2004 scoring once and two months later scored a hat-trick against Haiti in a World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium. The prolific striker scored twice when Jamaica beat El Salvador 3-0 in San Salvador. King is now involved in a protracted transfer from Wigan to Hull City.

The Brazilian said that the players for Jamaica’s second game in the qualifiers against Mexico on September 6 are yet to be confirmed. “It is a long time between the two games, so we have to wait and see. It could be the same players or we may call others,” he informed. “The door is never closed." Read more in the forum

Boyz hold El Salvador to 0-0 draw
July 27, 2008
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, using only four starters from the squad that easily won their early round World Cup qualifying tie last month, held off a spirited El Salvador 0-0 in their friendly international at the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Saturday. Technical director Rene Simoes used the game to provide exposure to a number of players as he continued his search for players to make up his squad for the next month’s upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign against Canada.

El Salvador, playing with a full strength squad, had the Reggae Boyz on the defensive early in the game. Jamaica came close to scoring in the in the 28th minute, when captain Andy Williams, spotting goalkeeper Miguel Montes off his line and tried a cheeky shot that just missed the target. The Boyz again came close to scoring against the run of play when newcomer Omar Cummings, who plays for the Colorado Rapids of the United States Major League Soccer, slipped his marker and laid off a well placed pass to Ricardo Cousins, who’s low shot was blocked by a strong El Salvador defensive wall.

The second half saw Jamaica doing much of the defending and survived a few close calls because of some good goalkeeping by Donovan Ricketts and poor finishing by El Salvador. The Boyz also had good opportunities to score in the 65th from Cummings whose volley was denied by a diving save from El Salvador goalkeeper Miguel Montes and in the 75th when debutant Jevaughn Watson's chipped shot rolled across the goal mouth and out the other side.

Both teams were playing their final exhibition match as they get ready for the third round of World Cup qualifying, which begins next month.

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Jermaine Taylor, Adrian Reid, Obrian Woodbine, Lance Laing (Keammar Daley 86th), Andy Williams (Kavin Bryan 75th), Evan Taylor, Wolry Wolfe (Eric Vernan 70th), Keneil Moodie, Ricardo Cousins (Javaughn Watson 58th), Omar Cummings. Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Nathan Koo-Boothe, Hugh Howell, James Thomas, Javaughn Watson, John-Ross Doyley.

Promoters call off Reggae Boyz, Guatemala game
July 20 2008
The international friendly between the Reggae Boyz and Guatemala scheduled for August 6th in Chicago, has been called off according to recently published reports. The game was to be used as a warm for the Reggae Boyz upcoming World Cup qualifiers, where they will face Mexico, Honduras and Canada in Group B.

According to the report published in the Jamaica Gleaner, “a lack of support from the local Jamaican community in Chicago has been blamed for the cancellation”. It went on to say that the promoters feared monetary loss as they could not guarantee a sizeable attendance by the Reggae Boyz fans living there. According to a representative of Power Promotions, they would need a minimum of 10,000 spectators at Chicago's Toyota Park and although they expected about 7,000 Guatemalan supporters, they are unsure if they could attract the remaining crowd necessary for them to break even.

With the cancellation of the Guatemala game, the Reggae Boyz now only have one confirmed scheduled warm-up match before facing Canada in their opening CONCACAF semi-final World Cup fixture on August 20 in Toronto. They will play Central American outfit El Salvador on Saturday, July 26, at Pizza Hut Soccer Park in Frisco, Texas, and the game will kick off at 6:00 pm...More in the Forum

Reggae Boyz to play Guatemala and El Salvador in friendly games
July 12, 2008
In preparation for next month's World Cup qualifier against Canada, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have scheduled friendly internationals against the Central American teams of Guatemala and El Salvador.  The game against El Salvador is confirmed for July 25 in Houston, Texas, and the latest reports indicate that the Guatemala match up is scheduled for August 6 at Toyota Park in Chicago. More details are expected to be released shortly as that negotiations are ongoing.

Both games are expected to serve as warm-ups for Jamaica's opening CONCACAF semi-final round against Group B rivals Canada on August 20 in Toronto, Canada. The Boyz, advanced to Group B after beating the Bahamas 13-0 on aggregate last month.  Also in the group are Honduras and Mexico and the top two teams will move on to the final group stage of the CONCACAF's qualifiers for World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

Increase in ticket prices
The Jamaica Football Federation also announced their revised ticket prices for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers to be staged at the National Stadium. The new pricing represents their effort to shorten the gap between revenues and expenditure, and also to ensure that participating in the historic Reggae Boyz World Cup 2010 campaign remains within reach of every Jamaican.
THE New Prices are:
GrandStand Category 1: $5,000
GrandStand Category 2: $3,500
Bleachers: $1,500

Jamaica, Mexico, Honduras and Canada in the “Group of Death”
June 28, 2008
Group of DeathGroup B of the six-match semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying for 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is considered the “Group of Death”  and will features Jamaica, Mexico, Honduras and Canada, when it gets underway on August 20th.

In this group, the Reggae Boyz will face three of the confederation’s top four nations, according to the FIFA World rankings, in Mexico (ranked 1st), Honduras (ranked 3rd) and Canada (ranked 4th). Adding to the intrigue is that Jamaica’s National Stadium (The Office), Mexico’s Estadio Azteca, and the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, are considered to be some the confederation’s toughest home venues for opponents to win in.

Although regarded as the weakest team in the group, Jamaica has found new life with the return of Captain Horace Burrell to the helm of the Federation and the reappointment of technical director Rene Simoes who led The Reggae Boyz to their historic World Cup berth in 1998. In their effort to prove that they are once again a team on a mission, Jamaica has called up some of their most talented professionals that can pose problems to their opponents at any level of the game.  These include the likes of Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers, England), Ricardo Fuller (Stokes City, England), Marlon King (Wigan, England), Luton Shelton (Sheffield, United, England), Demar Phillips (Stokes City, England), Richard Langley (Luton Town, England), Deon Burton (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Andy Williams (Real Salt Lake, U.S.) andTyrone Marshall (Toronto FC, Canada).

Jamaica now has the personnel that allow them to adapt to the various style of play that their opponents might pose. They have the players, who will fight and scrap for everything, players who will run hard for 90 plus minutes and players who can play with finesse, skill and speed that will create nightmare for defenders.  The task is now on Rene Simoes to bring together the right selection of players and have them show that they can play with CONCACAF’s best.

The Reggae Boyz displayed their rejuvenated confidence recently in their second-stage qualifier, destroying the Bahamas 7-0 and 6-0 in the two game series.  They must now show that they have the focus, determination and firepower needed to overpower their more fancied opponents and secure one of the two spots needed to advance to Round Four. Preview the three groups

Reggae Boyz advance to next phase of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Series
June 18, 2008
TyroneJamaica's Reggae Boyz advanced into the next phase of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Series when they defeated the Bahamas 6-0 in their second-leg encounter at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on Wednesday.

The win against the 167th-ranked Caribbean team, combined with huge 7-0 advantage they recorded in the first leg over the weekend, means that Reggae Boyz with a 13-0 aggregate scoreline, will advance to semi-final phase. They will now join Honduras who already qualified, as well as Mexico, who hold a 2-0 advantage over Belize, and Canada, who leads 3-0 against St Vincent & the Grenadines after their first-leg games.

Luton Shelton, of Sheffield United, followed on the two goals that he scored in the first leg by scoring a hat trick on Wednesday to bring his tally for the series to five. Deon Burton scored twice and defender Tyrone Marshall rounded out the scoring on Wednesday.

The Reggae Boyz  with their 13-0 aggregate win over Bahamas and Honduras (6-2 aggregate win over Puerto Rico) are  now though to the group stages and awaits the results of the remaining second leg games to take place this weekend.

Other CONCACAF qualifying round 2 first leg results are: Grenada 2-2 Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda 3-4 Cuba, Suriname 1-0 Guyana, Guatemala 6-0 St. Lucia, USA 8-0 Barbados, St. Vincent 0-3 Canada, Haiti 0-0 Netherlands Antilles, Belize 0-2 Mexico, Panama 1-0 El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago 1- 2 Bermud. Read More in the Forum

Reggae Boyz score seven against the Bahamas
June 16
BurtonJamaica's Reggae Boyz got their 2010 South Africa World Cup campaign off to an explosive start as they destroyed the Bahamas 7-0 at the National Stadium.

The almost  capacity crowd had a lot to cheer about in the first leg of the encounter with the Bahamas as the Reggae Boyz  delivered goals from captain Ricardo Gardner (17th), Demar Phillips (23rd), Marlon King (34th), Omar Daley (89th), Andy Williams (75th) and two from Luton Shelton (51st and 66th)

From the start of play, the Boyz went on the attack as they immediately had two shots on goal in the first two minutes. This was followed with a shot from Marlon King in 4th minute following a nice flick pass from Andy Williams, but it was saved by the Bahamian goalkeeper Dwayne Whylly. Before the defense had time to recover they had another scare as a low shot from Demar Phillips in 7th minute that just went wide of the goal.

It was total domination by Jamaica and they were finally rewarded in the 17th minute as Ricardo Gardner scored from an Evan Taylor pass. This was followed six minutes later as Phillips collected a through pass from Rudolph Austin, and taking it in stride, sent it in the back of the net. The Boyz continued their rampage on the Bahamian defenders when King tapped in goal number three from close range.

In the 51st minute Luton Shelton opened his account as he collected a lovely through pass over the top from Gardner and had little difficulty placing the ball around the advancing Whylly. Shelton had an immediate chance to add to his tally, but his glancing header from four yards sailed just wide of an open goal. Shelton got his second on 66 minutes as he scored from a Williams pass.

Andy Williams got into the act as he bombed home the sixth from close range in the 75th minute, and this was followed by a goal from substitute Omar Daley a minute later as he eluded the defenders before driving the ball home pass Whylly in goal.

The teams will play each other next Wednesday in the second leg of the qualifiers at the multi-purpose stadium in Trelawny

Jamaica faces Bahamas in World Cup Qualifying opener
June 15, 2008
Rene SimoesCONCACAF World Cup Qualifying has begun with twenty-four nations from all across the confederation playing 12 home-and-away encounters to determine which countries will form the three groups of four teams in stage three of the qualification process.

Jamaica’s match against the Bahamas is the first of a two-way series, from which only the winners will advance in the qualifiers. FIFA declared that the Bahamas' home venue is not up to the standard for World Cup level matches and thus the multi-purpose stadium in Trelawny will host the second game on Wednesday.

The Bahamas secured their spot in Stage Two courtesy of a narrow victory against the British Virgin Islands. Both first stage games ended as draws but the Bahamas secured the all important spot in the next round by virtue of the away goals rule.

Since making their first World Cup appearance in 1998 where they lost to Croatia and Argentina but beat Japan, Jamaica has struggled to regain their status as a powerhouse for football in the region. The Reggae Boyz have since missed out on the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and failed to make it past the first round of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

The Reggae Boyz is once again under the guidance of technical Director Rene Simoes who guided them to the world cup in 1998 and the hopes of the nation is non his shoulders. In a series of warm up games the Reggae Boyz defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5-1, tied 1-1 with Brazil and suffered an embarrassing loss to 154th ranked Grenada 2-1.

Although they are expected to win, Jamaica is not taking the Bahamas lightly and captain Ricardo Gardner states that Reggae Boyz are a very good team with some very good players and that they will go into the game with the Bahamas as if they are the USA or Mexico. More on the starting linup.

Reggae Boyz suffer embarrassing 2-1 loss to Grenada
June 11
Ricardo FullerJamaica’s Reggae Boyz suffered an embarrassing 2-1 loss to 143rd ranked Grenada at the National Stadium in St George's, Grenada yesterday.

Using the game as preparation for their upcoming qualifier against the Bahamas, Jamaica took an early lead in the 18th minute from a header by Ricardo Fuller off a corner kick taken by Evan Taylor. Unfortunately the Boyz found it hard to find the net again although they dominated the first half of the game.

In the second half they found a spirited Grenada too much to handle as the Spice Boys with goals from Sharlie Joseph in the 68th minute and a 77 minute strike from Jason Roberts shocking the much fancied Reggae Boyz into defeat.

Jamaica’s technical director Rene Simoes expressed disappointment in his team’s performance and hoped the loss will motivate them for their upcoming game on Sunday.
Jamaica will next face The Bahamas in a two-leg World Cup qualification, playing the first leg at the National Stadium on Sunday and the second at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium three days later.

Teams: Jamaica squad - Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Jermaine Taylor, Simon Ford, Tyrone Marshall, Ricardo Gardner, Rudolph Austin, Demar Phillips, Jermaine Johnson, Omar Daley, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Evon Taylor, Ricardo Fuller, Deon Burton, Marlon King Luton Shelton, Shawn Sawyers, Obrian Woodbine, Keniel Moodie, Adrian Reid, Richard Langley, Oneil Thompson.

Grenada squad - Sharlie Joseph, Jason Roberts, Jason James, Rickey Charles, Patrick Modeste, Shane Rennie, Anthony Modeste, March Marshall, Desmond Noel, Jake Rennie, Doset Langaign, Byron Bubb, Ken Searles, Eric George, Dwaine Leo, Henson Cuffie, Franklyn Baptiste, Lyndon Antoine. Read more in the forum

Reggae Boyz Snatch 1-1 Draw With Soca Warriors
June 8, 2008
A penalty in the 90th minute helped Jamaica to  snatch a 1-1 draw with Trinidad and Tobago in their friendly international at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya on Saturday.

Although the Reggae Boyz looked the more enterprising team for most of the game it was T&T that opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a goal from 19 years old Khaleem Hyland.   The goal followed a mistake by Jamaica Oneil Thompson who gave away the ball to Hyland allowing him to beat Donovan Ricketts with a low shot from 20 yards on a wet artificial turf.

Led by captain Ricardo Gardner, Jamaica stepped up their attack on the Soca Warriors as Gardner constantly got by Carlos Edwards in midfield and released some good passes to his forwards. Marlon King looked very dangerous as he hit a couple of shots wide, and on several occasions King was stopped by tackles from Dennis Lawrence and Markan Hislop. King also came closest for the Reggae Boyz, unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area and striking the edge of the post in the 52nd minute.

As the game wound down and it looked like The Reggae Boyz was going to fall to their main Caribbean rivals, Jamaica got a breakthrough in the 89th minute when Ince brought down a goal-bound Shelton and Barbadian referee Rayon Small pointed to the spot. Shelton made no mistake from the spot as he easily beat Ince to his right. The Boyz will next meet Grenada for a friendly on Tuesday.

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Simon Ford (Deon Burton 68th), Ian Goodison, Jermaine Taylor, Demar Phillips, Rudolph Austin, Evon Taylor, Oneil Thompson (Omar Daley 45th), Ricardo Gardner, Marlon King (Jermaine Johnson,80 th), Ricardo Fuller (Luton Shleton 61st).
Subs not used: S Sawyers, J Campbell-Ryce, O Woodbine, R Langley, A Reid, K Moodie.
Booked: Fuller (53rd)

Trinidad - Clayton Ince, Makan Hislop, Osei Telesford, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards (Kevon Carter 72nd), Khaleem Hyland, Aurtis Whitley, Jason Scotland, Kareen Smith, Akilie Edwards (Ancil Farrier 77th), Keon Daniel (Kevaugn Connell 72nd, Stephan David 88th).
Subs not used: K Cupid, D Roberts, M Phillips.
Booked: Hislop (22nd), Telesford (44th), Ince (89th)
See Jamaica vs Trinidad game pictures

Reggae Boyz Whips St. Vincent and the Grenadines 5-1
June 3, 2008
Technical director Rene Simoes seems to have found a good combination and formation for the Reggae Boyz as they defeated St Vincent and the Grenadines 5-1 in an international friendly here today at the National Stadium in Jamaica.

Jamaica’s 3-5-2 lineup, included Donovan Ricketts in goal, Simon Ford , Adrian Reid and Ian Goodison defending, Ricardo Gardner, Demar Phillips, Evon Taylor, Rudolph Austin and Andy Williams in midfield and Marlon King along with  Ricardo Fuller in the striker roles

Playing in front of approximately 15,000 spectators, Jamaica went ahead at the 17 minute mark with a nice pass from Marlon King to Demar Phillips who scored from a left footed strike. The Boyz kept up the attack playing with pace and determination that earned them 5 corners in the first 25 minutes.  

The second goal came by way of Andy Williams laying off a nice ball to Gardner who was brought down in the penalty box. Penalty taker Marlon King stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-0, 27 minutes into the game. St Vincent tried to get their attack going by playing the long ball but they were easily picked off by Ford, Reid and Goodison who defended well.

The Boyz continued to dominate, maintaining about 65% of the ball possession and were rewarded on the 40th minute as King struck again scoring a beautiful volley from inside the penalty area from a well-weighted cross from Austin. The half ended with Jamaica leading 3-0.

St Vincent and the Grenadines seemed more determined in the second half and were rewarded in the 56th minute when Marlon James rose above the defense to head home and pulled one back making it 3-1

Simoes made a few changes to his lineup throughout the second half., with Luton Shelton replacing Fuller, Deon Burton coming for King, Jamal Campbell-Ryce for Austin, Keneil Moodie for Ford, Richard Langley for Evan Taylor and Jermaine Taylor for Adrian Reid. The Reggae Boyz continued to dominate to the final whistle as Deon Burton in 73rd minute and then Ricardo Gardener in the 87th minute closed out the scoring for Jamaica to make it 5-1.

Jamaica will now depart for Trinidad for their friendly rivalry on Saturday followed by a game against Grenada on June 10, before returning home for the first of two CONCACAF World Cup qualifying dates with The Bahamas on June 15 and 18 at the National Stadium and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, respectively.

Teams:
Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Adrian Reid (Jermaine Taylor 69th), Simon Ford (Keneil Moodie 76th), Evon Taylor (Richard Langley 82nd), Ricardo Gardner, Andy Williams, Demar Phillips, Rudolph Austin (Jamal Campbell-Ryce 65th), Ricardo Fuller (Luton Shelton 70th), Marlon King (Deon Burton 72nd).
Subs not used: Shawn Sawyers, Obrian Woodbine, Jermaine Johnson, Omar Daley. Booked: Reid (66th), Fuller (70th).

St Vincent & the Grenadines - Melvin Andrew, Roy Richards, Oscar Nero, Kendal Velox, Sean Glynn (Shandell Samuel 68th), Cornelius Huggins, Millon Prescott (Troy Jeffers 46th), Theon Gordon (Randolph Williams 46th), Emerald George (Dorren Hamlet 88th), Darren Francis (Cornelius Stewart 65th), Marlon James. Subs not used: Benford Joseph, Richard Hayde, Alwyn Guy, Winslow McDonald.
Booked: Williams (60th), Nero (87th).
Read more in the Forum .
| See Photos

Williams, Langley and Johnson recalled to Reggae Boyz Squad
May 24, 2008
Andy Bomber WilliamsJamaica’s technical director, Rene Simoes, has called up 21 overseas-based players to begin preparation for a series of friendly internationals games starting with St. Vincent and the Grenadines on June 3rd. That will be followed with games against Trinidad &Tobago on June 7 and Grenada on June10 before hosting World Cup qualifiers against the Bahamas in Jamaica on June 15 and 18.

Coming out of a two year retirement from international ball is veteran midfielder Andy 'Bomber' Williams who along with four first time Reggae Boyz have been included in the 29-man squad for a May 26-June 1 training camp. The new players called are Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids, Lee Williamson of Watford in England, Simon Ford of Kilmarnock in Scotland and Reno's Evan Taylor. Also earning recalls to the national squad after a long absence are Luton Town midfielder Richard Langley and Jermaine Johnson, while Ricardo Gardener and Claude Davis are both returning from injuries which have sidelined them from recent action.

Eight local based players will join the 21 overseas-based players to complete the 29 man squad comprised of players from Jamaica, China, Norway, England, Scotland, Canada and USA. The full squad reads : Donovan Ricketts (unattached), Shawn Sawyers (Portmore United), Tyrone Marshall (Toronto FC, Canada), Demar Stewart (Chendu FC, China), Ian Goodison (Tranmere, England), Richard Langley (Luton Town, England), Lee Williamson (Watford, England), Oneil Thompson (Nottonden, Norway), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Barnsley, England), Omar Daley (Bradford, England), Demar Phillips (Stokes City, England), Jermaine Johnson (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Luton Shelton (Sheffield, United, En-gland), Marlon King (Wigan, England), Ricardo Fuller (Stokes City, England), Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers, England), Obrien Woodbine (Reno) Claude Davis (Derby County, England), Rudolph Austin (Port-more United), Keneil Moodie (Seba), Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids, U.S.), Andy Williams (Real Salt Lake, U.S.), Adrian Reid (Portmore United), Simon Ford (Kilmarnock, Scotland), Deon Burton (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Dwayne Miller (Harbour View), Evan Taylor (Reno), Jermaine Taylor (Harbour View) and Fabian Taylor (Nottonden, Norway)

Some members on the forum have asked why are players like Burton being brought back into the team when they seem to have so little to offer at this time. In response, another member, Jamatl, countered that players like Ricketts, Williams, Burton, Goodison and Gardner are in the squad to primarily provide professional mentoring and behind the scenes leadership and guidance. Basically they already know the Professor's rules and practices. Read more and tell us what you think

Boyz to play five international games in June
May 12, 2008
Boyz to play international gamesJamaica’s Reggae Boyz will be back in action next month as they have a hectic schedule of five international games in 16 days including three friendly matches against Caribbean teams. Jamaica last saw action in late March when they played to a 2-2 draw against the Soca Warriors in the first of a two game series with Trinidad & Tobago.

The Boyz upcoming agenda will see them against St Vincent and the Grenadines at Jamaica’s National Stadium on June 3, followed by Trinidad & Tobago, in Port-of-Spain Trinidad, on June 7 before their departure the following day to Grenada for a game on June 10.
Following the friendly games, Jamaica will play CONCACAF World Cup-qualifying games against the Bahamas on June 15 at the National Stadium, with the second leg three days later at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

Jamaica was previously scheduled to meet Haiti on May 18 in Fort Lauderdale, but according to JFF boss, Captain Horace Burrell, some contractual agreements were not met forcing the change in schedule and inactivity of the team. Burrell said that next month’s packed timetable will allow technical director, Rene Simoes, a chance to pick the best 11 for the World Cup qualifiers. Most of the foreign based players are expected to arrive in the island by May 25 to join the training camp leading up to the five matches.

JFF secures FIFA approval for second Goal Project and confirms National Stadium as an approved venue for World Cup Qualifier
April 27, 2008
The Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) request to relocate the unfinished FIFA Goal Project and Football Academy from Malvern, St Elizabeth was approved in principle by FIFA, as they agreed to grant a second Goal Project to be constructed at a new venue.

This is a big step forward for the project as in 2006, the JFF administration led by former president Crenston Boxhill, received funds from FIFA towards the original project which was never completed. Some of the issues that led to an unsuccessful first project included a stop order being put on building at the location due to a lack of adequate documentation, no formal agreement existing with the JFF and Munro for use of football fields, and a concern regarding water being provided in the remote area.

FIFA was also in favor of extending courses for administrators at the parish level and providing technical assistance and help with youth development courses planned for both Kingston and Montego Bay. FIFA president Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter, praised Captain Burrell for his hard work and vision of the future of jamaican football as he embarks on his mission of building back Jamaica’s football programs.

National Stadium approved by FIFA
Jamaica National StadiumIn other related news, FIFA confirmed that the Jamaica National Stadium in Kingston has been approved for the World Cup Qualifier against The Bahamas on June 15. This was confirmed on Thursday by The head of the FIFA Competitions Services Department, Gordon Savic.

A recent report in the Jamaican media that the National Stadium venue was not approved for the game was incorrect as Savic reconfirmed that the stadium was among those approved by the FIFA inspection during an 18-month worldwide inspection of facilities. FIFA has also scheduled an inspection of the Trelawny Stadium which will be used for the second leg game of the Jamaica vs. Bahamas world cup qualifier on  June 18 at 4:00 pm.

KAPPA on board with Jamaica’s Football
April 27, 2008
The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) led by president Captain Horace Burrell, was successful in securing a kit sponsorship deal for all nine men's and women's teams as they  inked a two-year sponsorship deal with Italian sporting manufacturing company, Kappa, in Turin, Italy.

The US$1.77m agreement is reported to be the biggest kit deal in Jamaica’s football history. It includes a signing fee, bags, apparel, footwear and cash incentives depending on qualification to the World Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  This is a very significant signing for the Burrell led group as Jamaica was without a sponsorship deal for over two years.  The deal gives KAPPA the option to renew after 2010.

No prize monies to be awarded to NPL teams
April 20, 2008
A plea by the Premier League Clubs' Association (PLCA) to the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) for assistance after the collapse of the three-year $150- million sponsorship deal with Cash Plus was rejected on Wednesday. This has left National Premier League football teams with no prize monies to be awarded to them at the end of the season.

At a press conference, held at the UWI Main Library, the chairman of the PLCA, Edward Seaga, stated that they will have to eliminate the prize money and awards function and that the clubs will need to find ways in tightening their budgets in order to survive the rest of the season. The PLCA executives expressed hope in finding a sponsor of $10 million for the prize money and awards ceremony, but said that it was less likely to happen with each passing day.

The PLCA made note that although there will be no prize monies, this year’s participants are much better off than previous years as a total of $33.6 million will go directly to the clubs with each club receiving  $2.8 million this year. This is in contrast to about $7 million that were received by the clubs previously and the $2 million received by Harbour View for winning the league last year. The PLCA also revealed that it has just over $4 million left to run the remainder of the season.

TheReggaeBoyz.com forum moderator Jagga suggested in a forum post that football lovers could assist by donating trophies to the clubs and players for their efforts. Tell us what you think about this suggestion?

Sponsorship of Jamaica’s Premier League Terminated
April 12, 2008
With the recent revelation that Jamaica’s Premier League Football sponsor Cash Plus Limited is bankrupt and unable to repay investors, the chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), Edward Seaga, has announced the termination of the agreement between the PLCA and Cash Plus for sponsorship of the National Premier League Competition.

According to Mr. Seaga, this action was necessary because of the failure of Cash Plus to make payment on $28.5 million of arrears owed by Cash Plus to the PLCA. He added that he has approached the Sports Development Foundation for emergency assistance for all the clubs as they will be unable to finish the season which ends within two months, unless they can now get some significant support.

The three-year $150 million sponsorship deal with Cash Plus was negotiated last September by Mr. Seaga with the PLCA receiving $32.5million from Cash Plus between October 2007 and February 2008 which has so far exceeded the sum received on sponsorship by the clubs in previous years.

The Premiership would no longer be branded the Cash Plus Premier League and the PLCA began the search for a new sponsor for next year in order to have a smooth transition.
Read more in the forum and share your views.

Clash Between Caribbean Heavyweights Ends In Stalemate
March 27, 2008
The much anticipated clash between the Caribbean’s football heavyweights, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, ended in a 2-2 draw in their friendly international at the National Stadium in Jamaica.

Both teams looked cautious at the start but The Reggae Boyz, starting with mostly their foreign-based players, quickly settled and took control of the game. Jamaica totally dominated the first half forcing the Soca Warriors on the defensive on many occasions. Marlon King, Demar Phillips, Omar Daley and Luton Shelton pressed hard for an early goal but was denied by missed opportunities.

The Boyz dominance were justly rewarded in the 34th minute when Marlon King received a lovely pass from Phillips, controlled and turned 90 degrees, then curled a beautiful shot inside the far post pass out stretched arms of the T&T goalkeeper.

The Reggae Boyz struck again six minutes later when Tyrone Marshall received a nicely played diagonal pass from Phillips, out pacing two defenders before shooting into the far side of the goal to the delight of the Jamaican supporters. Two other first half goals, one by Trinidad and one from Jamaica were ruled offside. The half ended 2-0 Jamaica

The second half saw Jamaica's Technical Director Rene Simoes making a number of substitutions as he used the occasion to take a look at the other available players. He brought on Deon Burton for Marlon King and a total of six local based players were given a chance to prove themselves.

The inexperience of the local players showed as they allowed Trinidad and Tobago, also with mostly local-based players, to get back into the game. The Soca Warriors took advantage of the break in The Reggae Boyz chemistry and reduced the deficit when Trinidad's Telesford shot on goal beat substitute goalie Duwayne Kerr. T&T kept the pressure on their now disorganized opponents and again followed up  as their Captain Aurtis Whitely hit a spectacular left-footed shot in the 90th minute to earn Trinidad and Tobago a 2-2 draw.... Read More in the Forum

Jamaica to host rivals Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly international
March 24, 2008
Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will take on Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors in a friendly international at the National Stadium in Jamaica next Wednesday.

Missing from Jamaica’s line up will be Ricardo Fuller, veteran defender Ian "Pepe" Goodison and team captain Ricardo “Bib”i Gardner. According to Technical director, Rene Simoes, Fuller was not called because he wanted to have a look at forwards Deon Burton and Luton Shelton, while Gardner’s club Bolton Wanderers made a special request to excuse the player due to upcoming club engagements. Incidentally, Gardner suffered an apparent rib injury while playing for Bolton in their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Saturday.

Eleven overseas-based players were invited to join the local contingent of thirteen players for the encounter. The overseas players are: Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts (Bradford City), defenders: Demar Phillips (Stoke City), Omar Daley (Bradford City), Tyrone Marshall (Toronto FC), Demar Stewart (Royal Whitestar), Oneil Thompson (Notodden Football Club); midfielders: Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Barnsley), Khari Stephenson AIK of Allsvenskan; forwards: Marlon King (Fulham), Luton Shelton (Sheffield United), Deon Burton (Sheffield Wednesday).

The  local players are: Goalkeepers: Allien Whittaker (JDF), Duwayne Kerr (Portmore United); defenders: Christopher Harvey (Harbour View), Christopher Jackson (Tivoli Gardens), Obrian Woodbine (Reno), Adrian Reid (Portmore United); midfielders: Wolry Wolfe, Rudolph Austin, Ricardo Cousins (Portmore United), Keniel Moodie (Seba), Hugh Howell (Waterhouse); forwards: Kaemmar Daley (Meadhaven) and 19-year-old striker, James Thomas of Portmore United.

Trinidad and Tobago is expected to field a strong squad including  striker Kenwyne Jones of Sunderland, Collin Samuel (Toronto FC), Darryl Roberts (Sparta Rotterdam) and defender Osei Telesford (Chicago Fire) and Carlos Edwards.

The president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, has called on Jamaican  supporters to come out in their numbers to witness the region's biggest rivalry in which the Reggae Boyz  have won 13 games to T&T 11, with six draws in 30 games played between the teams so far.

Brazilian Clubs Showing Interest in Jamaican Players
March 16, 2008
The outstanding performance of the local-based Reggae Boyz on their three-week tour of Brazil have led to a number of Brazilian clubs expressing  interest  and possibly contracts to a few of the players.

A recent report in The Jamaica Observer states that Rene Simoes, Technical director of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), has received numerous enquiries about certain players on the tour. Simoes did not name any of the players targeted preferring to leave the matter of player negotiation to JFF head Captain Horace Burrell.

Since their arrival in Brazil, the Boyz have played six games of their seven game tour, winning three, drawing two and losing one.  Their most impressive win was against one of Brazil's top clubs, Atletico Paranaense, defeating them 2-1. The Reggae Boyz were also victorious against state Division One outfit Parana Club, defeating them 3-2 and stopping Tigers of Brazil 1-0. They fell 0-2 victims to second division side, Avai Futbol Clube and drew 1-1 with Second Division Operario and 2-2 with Estacio University, a Second Division state team.

Some of the players named that have had outstanding games includes the Portmore United’s Rudolph Austin who has scored three goals,  Ricardo Cousins who captained Jamaica to the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, along with defender Adrian Reid.

The Boyz will end their tour with a game against Coritiba Football Club (Simoes's former team) in a celebration to mark the 318 years of the foundation of Curitiba. The players are scheduled to return to Jamaica on March 18.
Read more in the Forum

43 Players Selected for Training Camp in Brazil
Feb. 23, 2008
National technical director René Simoes has invited 43 local-based players to a three-week camp  to be held in Brazil in preparation for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers as well as the CONCACAF women's Olympic qualifiers in April.

The squad is made up of 24 men and 19 women and is scheduled over the period February 28 to March 18, 2008. The women’s team which will be engaged in Women's Olympic CONCACAF Qualifiers in April in Mexico, leaves the island on February 27 and will be in Brazil until Wednesday, March 12.  The men's team which is in preparation for the 2010 World Cup Qualifying Series will leave on February 28 and return March 18.

Four Harbour View FC players that were originally selected have been released by Simoes due to their club’s preparation for the regional CONCACAF Champions Cup which runs from March 11 to March 18. The players, Dwayne Miller, Christopher Harvey, Lance Laing and Kavin Bryan were replaced by the Waterhouse trio of Maurice Evans, Desmond Breakenridge and Irvino English along with Portmore's striker James Thomas.

Men's Team: Goalkeepers - Duwayne Kerr (Portmore United), Allien Whittaker (Jamaica Defence Force), Maurice Evans (Waterhouse); Defenders - Christopher Jackson, Orane Simpson (Tivoli Gardens), Obrien Woodbine (Reno), Desmond Breakenridge, Marco McDonald, Irvino English (Waterhouse), Adrian Reid (Portmore United), Andre Darby (Naggo Head); Midfielders - Rudolph Austin, Damion N Williams, Ricardo Cousins, Eric Vernon, Wolry Wolfe (Portmore), Keniel Moodie (Seba), Nicholy Finlayson (Reno), Hugh Howell, Damian "Kappo" Williams (Waterhouse); Strikers - Navian Boyd (Tivoli Gardens), Keammar Daley (Meadhaven), Newton Sterling (Waterhouse), James Thomas (Portmore).

Women's Team: Goalkeepers - Nikkeshi Thomas (Barbican), Peatria Campbell (Portmore Strikers), Nicoda Linton (Waterhouse); Defenders - Marcilee McBean (Waterhouse), Monique Pryce (Marverley/Hughenden), Stacy-Ann Johnson (Harbour View), Latoya Panton and Janice Rennalls (Barbican); Midfielders - Christina Chang (Overseas based), Alecia James, Jodi-Ann McGregor (Barbican), Christina Murray (Waterhouse), Tanesia Vassell, Nicola Bell (Harbour View), Rochelle Bryan, Iesha Mowatt (Portmore Strikers); Strikers - Tashana Vincent, Venecia Reid (Portmore Strikers) and Kenesha Reid (Barbican). Read more in the Forum

Jamaican Reggae Boyz face ineligiblity for work permit in England
Feb. 12, 2007
Jamaican Reggae Boyz playing in England are are faced with the  possibility of becoming ineligible for work permits if Jamaica does not improve its low FIFA ranking of 98 before the expiration of existing player contracts. This problem will also affect players based in Jamaica who are seeking to play in England as the low ranking has ruled all new players out of consideration to get work permits.

Additionally, Jamaican-born players currently playing in England cannot move to another club until Jamaica improves its ranking to at least 70 in the FIFA table. This affected Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts when he recently tried to move to Queen's Park Rangers from Bradford City.  Ricketts was denied a work permit for reasons of the low rankings in addition to not representing Jamaica in 75 per cent of Jamaica's 'A' games for the past two years.

Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) stated that he is deeply saddened by the problem which has caused all Jamaican-born players to become ineligible for a work permits to play football in England. He blames the former Boxhill administration for causing Jamaica to fall below 70 over the two-year span.

In addition to  Ricketts other players faced with the problem of being denied work permits should their contracts end before Jamaica improves its rankings are Ricardo Fuller, Ricardo Gardner, Luton Shelton, Claude Davis, Demar Phillipps, Ian Goodison, Damion Stewart, Omar Daley, and Jermaine Johnson. More in the Forum

Boyz come from behind to draw Costa Rica 1-1
Feb 7, 2008
After dominating for most of the game Jamaica had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 tie with Costa Rica in their friendly international at the National Stadium in Jamaica. A powerful header by Tyrone Marshall from a Marlon King pass in extra time was the goal that kept technical director Rene Simoes from a losing start in his first game back with The Reggae Boyz.

Playing in front of a full house, the Reggae Boyz launched a series of early attacks on the Costa Rican defensive area but failed to find the target. Missed chances from Jason Morrison,  Marlon King and a spectacular bicycle kick effort from Demar Phillips  that smashed against goalkeeper Ricardo Gonzalez's left-hand post, should have given the Boyz a first half lead.

Jamaica’s dominance continued into the second half as the Reggae Boyz kept the Costa Ricans on the back foot. Phillips saw his left-footer shot from inside the penalty area forced out by Gonzalez for a corner. Moments later Rudolph Austin unleashed his renowned thunderous right foot missile from over 30 meters, which Gonzalez did well to push over the cross bar. King again came close after a slick give-and-go combination with Gardner released him behind the defense but his feeble effort rolled gently into the waiting arms of goalkeeper Gonzalez.

The Reggae Boyz suddenly found themselves behind two minutes from the end when William Sunsing got away from Jamaica's pair of central defenders and calmly shot the ball past the onrushing Ricketts. Jamaica came fighting back with a never-say-die attitude and were rewarded in extra time as King  provided a perfect cross from the right for Marshall to rise above the Costa Rican defenders and  head powerfully into the goal.

The Boyz had a glorious chance to steal the win just before the final whistle when substitute Wolry Wolfe slipped behind the defense, but his right-footed shot sailed wide of the target.

Teams:
Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Ian Goodison, Damion Stewart, Ricardo Gardner, Tyrone Marshall, Rudolph Austin, Jason Morrison Omar Daley 61st), Demar Phillips (Wolry Wolfe 80th), Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Ricardo Fuller (Roen Nelson 85th), Marlon King Subs not used: Duwayne Kerr, Adrian Reid, Shavar Thomas, Nicholy Finlayson, Lance Laing.

Costa Rica - Ricardo Gonzalez, Victor Cardero, Jervis Drummond, Andres Nunes, Walter Centeno (Douglas Sequeira 71st), Junior Diaz, Pablo Chinchilla, Carlos Hernandez (Oscar Rojas 54th, Victor Nunes 66th), Randal Azofeifa, Bryan Ruiz (Ronald Gomez 66th), Alvaro Saborio (William Sunsing 76th). Read more in the Forum | See iphotos

Players Invited for Costa Rico Friendly
Jan. 24, 2008
In form Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller along with Marlon King are among 14 overseas-based players invited to Jamaica's Reggae Boyz squad to take on Costa Rica for a friendly international at the National Stadium on February 6.  The overseas-based players will be joined by nine local-based players selected from a squad of 24, who will begin camp on January 28 through February 1.

Marlon King will be making his first appearance with the reggae Boyz squad since he was banned by the previous Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration for two years for what was reported to be disrespectful behavior. The other overseas-based invitees joining King and Fuller are goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (Bradford City), defenders Ricardo Gardner (Bolton Wanderers) and Ian Goodison (Tranmere Rovers), Claude Davis (Derby County), Damion Stewart (Queens Park Rovers), Tyrone Marshall (Toronto FC), Shavar Thomas (Chivas), Demar Phillips (Stoke City), Omar Daley (Bradford City), Jason Morrison (Royal Whitestar), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Barnsley), and Luton Shelton (Sheffield United).

In addition, a 24-member local training squad has been named for a five day training camp, of which nine members will be joining the foreign-based players for the game. Harbour View midfielder Jermaine Hue was called back to national duty along with Rudolph Austin, Wolry Wolfe, Roen Nelson, Duwayne Kerr, Adrian Reid (Portmore United), Nicholy Finlayson (Reno), Jermaine Hue, Fabian Taylor, Dwayne Miller, Christopher Harvey (Harbour View), Richard McCallum, Desmond Breakenridge (Waterhouse), Oraine Simpson, Christopher Jackson (Tivoli Gardens), Keneil Moodie (Seba United).

Nine players are earning their first call-up. Among them are Andre Darby (Naggo Head), Craig White (Arnett Gardens), Lance Laing (Harbour View), Ricardo Cousins (Portmore United), Dwayne Phidd (St George's), Hugh Howell (Waterhouse), Eric Vernon (Portmore United), Navian Boyd (Tivoli Gardens) and Keammar Daley (Meadhaven). More in the Forum

King's Move to Fulham Remains In Limbo
Jan. 23, 2008
Amid reports that the striker failed his medical, Jamaican international Marlon King's move to English Premier League Fulham is still uncertain. The £5 million deal would move King away from Watford but concerns over the striker's fitness may force a renegotiation of the contract.

Playing for Watford against Arsenal in the third game of the 2006 season, King severely damaged his right knee and according to reports, Fulham's medical staff are not satisfied with the condition of the joint. As a result Fulham is proposing to lower the contract figure to £4 million and to make the payment in installments based on King's appearances. King has scored 11 goals for Watford so far this season.

A two-year ban, imposed on King by the Jamaica Football Federation administration in June 2006, was lifted in November and he is expected to be recalled to the Reggae Boyz when Jamaica takes on Costa Rica on February 6 at the National Stadium. King has six goals in 12 appearances for the Jamaican national team. More in the Forum

Assistant Coaches named to serve under TD René Simoes
January 12, 2008Based on its new structure for the development of the national program, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) approved four assistant coaches to serve a three month apprenticeship period under technical director Rene Simoes. The coaches are Theodore Whitmore, who successfully coached Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in its two most recent friendly games against Guatemala and El Salvador, Lenworth Hyde Sr. of Harbour View Football Club, St. Georges' Donovan Duckie, and Paul Young formerly of Portmore United.

In addition, four more coaches, national women’s coach Charles Edwards, along with Xavier Gilbert, Oneil Thomas and Junior Francis have been appointed to focus specifically on the women’s program.

Also appointed are five national coordinators with the responsibility for scouting talent, coordinating trials for different age groups and assessing coaching talent across the Jamaica. Those named are Patrick 'Jackie' Walters, coach of schoolboy football team Glenmuir, Leebert Halliman coach of Excelsior  and former national coach Wendell Downswell for the men's teams and Bradley Stewart and Vin Blaine for the female players.

The JFF also approved a budget for Jamaica’s football development which is expected to cost over 1.23 billion dollars over the next 30 months. Jamaica will play their next senior national team game on February 6 against Costa Rica. More in the forum

Professor René Simoes Returns
January 7, 2008
Professor René Simoes returned to Jamaica to begin his second stint as technical director of the Football Federation (JFF). Simoes arrived at the Norman Manley Inter-national Airport, accompanied by JFF president Captain Horace Burrell, his daughter, and Chico Santos a Brazilian coach who will be working with Simoes.

In a press conference in the airport's VIP Lounge shortly after their arrival, Burrell welcomed the return of Professor René Simoes and said that "Professor Simoes is here on a three-year contract. He's not here as the head coach of the Reggae Boyz. Jamaica simply cannot afford that. He is the technical director for all national teams, including the female teams,"

Dressed in a grey suit and sporting a fully grey mustache, Simoes told journalists that he believed in the Jamaican people as this was one of the reasons for returning. Tomorrow he will meet with the JFF general secretary at 10:00 am, then be introduced to the staff. Later in the day he will meet with some JFF board members. On Tuesday, a session with the JFF Technical Committee is planned before he speaks with potential sponsors on Wednesday.

Below are exerpts of the press conference by TheReggaeBoyz.com Forum member and reporter pHoQrY:

Horace Burrell welcomes Professor René Simoes and highlights the head table: Howard Mcintosh, Bruce Gaynor, Rene Simoes, Horace Reid, and coach Chico Santos. He welcomes Maurice Bryan of Digicel, Red Stripe representative Gareth Geddes, brand manager, Jamaica National, Ms Janice Henling, sponsorship manager, and Michael Collins, sponsorship executive. The Media Media: Hitz, KLAS, RJR, Nationwide, Love FM, Links FM, TVJ, CVM, Hot102, CSN, Observer, Gleaner, CMC, Sunday herald, Irie Fm, BBC. A big welcome is given to Simoes, his family and his coaching staff.

Professor René Simoes Speaks
Salutations. It has been 7 years since he has been out of country, and a lot has changed. “I am very glad to see the refurbishing of airport, it is wonderful. Looks good for Jamaica. It is a very emotional day. Great feeling to be back”  His daughter is an English teacher so his English will improve.

First question faced years ago...his English was a problem, his answer was that  he coaches by feet not tongue. He has tried to improve English and manners, hence salutation. He remembers after 98 qualifications, people said it was because of money, but that was wrong, it was because of the people. In that time, we believe that together we could do it, and we did. He thinks qualification can be achieved again, because the potential remains here, the capabilities remain here.Tthe quality of the Jamaican, the strength within the Jamaican people makes him believe it can be done again. The target may be more difficult, but we are better than before, we have to be better today, than yesterday, better tomorrow than you are today.
Football has become a product, so we have to raise the way we talk about football. It is our responsibility to talk at high level to ensure interest in football, or we will lose out to computers...boys will start to sit around the computers instead of play football. We are not here to fight with media, too old now. He is here to associate with journalists. He is not here to please the fans, he is here to do his job, the best way he knows how.

We have to start traveling again with the Reggaeboyz. WE CANNOT IMPROVE OUR FOOTBALL IF THE LOCAL PLAYERS DO NOT FEEL THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR CARES ABOUT THEM...HE MENTIONS COUSINS. He believe that they need encouragement. Administratively, things must become better than before. Then he talks JFF politics. There is no way u can think high level football without high level coach. 25 games a year...is a good number for team to play...lets play games and lose games. For by losing, you identify who is great and who is not.

He speaks of the u17. In 2012 they will be the Olympic team. When u invest in u17 u think eight years ahead, so he will be very involved with them. He talks about the women team....using his experiences. Let us create the Reggae Boyz family again. Criticism is expected, but we must note the common objective, love for each other, and raise Jamaica and qualify for world cup. If any player does not see this objective, no matter who they are, they will be out.

Sponsors should not expect "chicken feed" to be enough. If you want a Mercedes Benz you have to spend a lot of money, likewise if u only want a little car, you can spend little money. Simoes is surprised that there are no big kit contract in place for Jamaica.

He speaks of housing for the players. No hotels. Do not want players from abroad coming to stay in hotel they should all stay in a house together, get Jamaican foods and culture and be a family. The place to build a family is in a house, not a hotel. Players must learn, respect and love the Jamaican culture. The training centre that is to accommodate the national team, must be close to national stadium. if training centre is for facilitating youth development only, then it can be anywhere...

The amount of money raised from Jamaica qualifying for the world cup, indirectly, is paramount, therefore, look at sponsorship as an investment and not an expense…social sector should also be involved. He says we are better now than 1994 when he came. He says it can be a reality again. We all did it together, let’s do it again, let’s ask God to help us, help Jamaica to do it again, make us much better as persons and human beings.

His speech ends.
Burrell congratulates Simoes on winning the 2nd Division title and announces that Jamaica will be playing against Costa Rica on Feb 6 at 6pm. That will be the launching for the campaign, Bob Marley's birthday, so the Marley's will be putting on a treat.

The floor opens for questions:
Question:  When u came for the first time, you did not know much about our football, based on what u know now and what u know about the current status, what do u think it will take for us to qualify.
Answer: Based on what he has learnt, there is a lot here, we have not forgotten how to play, we have not lost our strengths, what we have lost is the capacity to be together.
Question: Give an idea of what is the first order of business you propose and how will you approach everything
Answer: 1 Diagnose: meet everybody and diagnose where we are. Second,  don’t think because you are a good football you will make it, no, forget it, you must be a team player. Example...2006 Brazil team was the best, but nothing happened, because they forgot that they must play strongest and right players.

One on One interview with Simon Crosskill  begins (C for Crosskill, S for Simoes)
C - Welcome back.

S - Thank you, 1994 I didnt want to come. Now I was dieing to come back because i know the potential of Jamaica...etc...we cannot do anything individually, we have to do as team, together we are very strong.

C - You don’t only speak about football, you speak about support, u feel that without support, you won’t get the level of football needed, has that changed?

S - No, I cannot do anything alone, Burrell cannot do it alone, Jamaica makes a mistake if they think things will be great because we are back, everybody has a part to play.

C - How do you view your task, with a number of our players playing professionally, considering the downside.

S - First you have to make them understand why the great African Nations do not go far in world cup, because when they go back to national team they relax. Message is, it is not enough to be the best players, you must be the best, strongest and the right players at the right time, secondly the local players must know they stand a chance.

C - have you sensed then that the international professionals have not given as much as they can.

S - I cannot tell from outside, but it is possible, because it is not their professional work.
C - Who is Rene Simoes in 2008 and what is the new tactics?

S - The principle is the same, discipline, hard work, players must recognize they are ambassadors of the country. Tactically football has changed, more total football...so football is more aggressive. What the players can do to what the coach thinks is necessary...I am more mature, so I am calmer, but I don’t lose my principles.

C – A lot of tactics used were off the field before, has that aspect of football changed?

S -   In Brazil, change a little, in CONCACAF lets diagnose it. We need to hear what’s going on to make proper strategy

C - What about the time element, less time to do what is necessary.

S - When we look at the group, the group is very difficult. What is good is the reputaion of Jamaica is very strong, so that will make us have a chance. He reminds us of group in 1997. We need to spread the message for players. You are here to work!

C - The Office has become international standards...how will that also affect your tactics?

S - Well the players are mostly professionals, so it may or may not be an issue, the tactics to be employed will be developed when it is good to do so...
S - The objective is to disturb the routine of the opponents...

C - Are you prepared for Failure?

S - I never think about that...I think we go to succeed...we can do it because we did. I never prepare to fail, I always prepare to win.
S - What captain has done, I have never seen done by any other president of federation. So because of that, I had to come back, remember captain fired me, his strength is wonderful...so i must support him
C - Are you sure u made the right decision?

S - I think so, I want to come here...
S - Some people think i don’t like them, that’s not true...I am more confident now, I do things differently, but i don’t lose my principle. Thank you very much, please tell my bredrin Bertis I miss him being here. Jamaica has strength within that cannot be identified anywhere else!
....
More in the Forum | See Video

Sponsorship of the Premiership in Jeopardy
January 1, 2008
The title sponsor of Jamaica’s National Premier League (NPL), Cash Plus Limited, was issued with a 'cease and desist' order by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) last Friday. The order by the FSC has created uncertainty as it puts in jeopardy the company's three-year $150-million sponsorship of the league.

In September, Cash Plus Group chairman, Carlos Hill, announced that his company was taking over the sponsorship of Jamaica's top football tournament, after the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and long-time sponsor J Wray & Nephew severed their ties. A major factor in the split was that Wray and Nephew was under increased pressure from the newly formed Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA). The PLCA  was formed in an attempt to gain greater financial support and control as member teams were facing huge budgetary deficits estimated at somewhere between $12 and $20 million annually.

Structured off the English Premiership system with each club holding a share, the PLCA negotiated the sponsorship deal with the Cash Plus Group to pump $150 million into the league over three seasons. The shut down by the FSC seems to be having an immediate impact as recent reports in the media states that the PLCA  did not received monies for December from Cash Plus, as well as the prize money for the end of first round champions Portmore United & runners up Tivoli Gardens.  Members of the Cash Plus organization have said that they were not aware that the clubs had not received December's payments.

Edward Seaga, chairman of the PLCA has indicated that clubs could soon start dropping out of the country's top football league if the problem persists, as the cease and desist order issued on Cash Plus may affect the monies which should be handed over to the clubs.

Members of TheReggaeBoyz.com forum are asking if Cash Plus should be sued by the Jamaica Football Federation for breach of contract or if the JFF’s president Horace Burrell’s Captain Bakery will provide sponsorship to save the league. More in the forum

Simoes to return in January
Dec 04, 2007
Jamaica’s former technical director, Brazilian RENÉ SIMOES, is reported to be returning in about a month's time to begin his second tenure in that position. SIMOES previously served as technical director of Jamaica's football when the Reggae Boyz qualified for its FIFA World Cup Finals in France, 1998. The official announcement is expected at a press conference this afternoon to be hosted by the JFF.

President Captain Horace Burrell told The Gleaner yesterday that the details concerning the technical director will be outlined to the executive committee, the private sector, sponsors and government within the next 48 hours.

Simoes took charge of Jamaica in October 1994 and was also instrumental in Jamaica qualifying for two more FIFA World Cup Finals - at youth level Under-17 and Under-20. He left the job in early 2000, after some poor results in the last two years in charge of the seniors, including embarrassing 0-9, 0-6 and 0-4 drubbings away to Costa Rica, Norway and Saudi Arabia. More in the Forum

Reggae Boyz Score Win Over Guatemala
November 22, 2007
Two first half goals by Ricardo Fuller and Omar Daley in the 10th and 22nd minutes gave Jamaica a convincing 2-0 win over Guatemala in soggy conditions in their international friendly at the national stadium in Jamaica. This was the second win inside "The Office" in four days for The Reggae Boyz under the new Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) administration led by Captain Horace Burrell.

The Reggae Boyz took early control of the game and was clearly the dominant team for most of the encounter. After coming close to scoring early when Luton Sheton’s effort went over the bar, Ricardo Fuller made it 1-0 after outpacing a defender and then chipping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

The Jamaican fans were again rewarded in the 22nd minute as Rudolph Austin found Daley down the right flank.  Daley, who plays for Bradford City in England, cut inside his defender before calmly firing home to put Jamaica two goals up. Jamaica should have had a third goal late in the second half when the speedy Dane Richards, broke free down the right flank and perfectly played the ball into the path of Phillips, who missed the sitter by kicking high from close range.

Jamaica - Donovan Ricketts, Oneil Thompson, Rudolph Austin, Christopher Jackson (Wolry Wolfe 60th), Ian Goodison (Sean Fraser 63rd), Tyrone Marshall, Shavar Thomas (Demar Stewart 45th), Omar Daley (Ricardo Geddes 60th), Demar Phillips, Luton Shelton (Dane Richards 20th), Ricardo Fuller. Subs not used: Richard McCullum, Rafei Wolfe, Khari Stephenson, Damion Williams, Fabian Taylor. More in the forum

Reggae Boyz Whip El Salvador 3-0
November 19, 2007
Jamaica’s captain, Ricardo Gardner, scored 2 goals to lead a confident and lively Reggae Boyz outfit to a 3-0 win over El Salvador in an international friendly at the National Stadium, Jamaica, on Sunday. The Reggae Boyz made their highly anticipated return to the National Stadium under interim coach and former national player Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore and rewarded at least 20,000 spectators with a dominant and winning performance.

With the Boyz battling to take control of the early play, a spectacular shot by Portmore’s Rudolf Austin, put the Jamaicans in the lead at the 24th minute. Austin hit a blistering shot to goal from at least 35 yards, which curled over the outstretched body of a well-beaten El Salvador custodian, Miguel Moreno, and into the roof of the net. This was followed in the 37th minute as Luton Shelton dribbled between the El Salvador defenders and slipped the ball to Gardner who snuck in to beat Moreno from eight yards away to put the team two goals ahead.

El Salvador were reduced to 10 early in the second half making it easier for The Reggae Boyz to maintain possession, Gardner struck again 10 minutes from time after finding himself free at the top of the 18-yard b, looked up and calmly placed his shot wide of keeper Moreno, hitting off the far post and into the back of the net to make it 3-0. The Reggae Boyz will next play Guatemala on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.

Team Jamaica - Richard McCullum (Dwayne Kerr 74th), Damion Stewart (Demar Stewart 66th), Rudolph Austin, Ricardo Gardner, Jamal Campbell-Rice (Jermaine Johnson 66th), Demar Phillips, Oneil Thompson (Khari Stephenson 79th), Shavar Thomas, Tyrone Marshall, Luton Shelton, Ricardo Fuller (Dane Richards 74th).Subs not used: Wolry Wolfe, Ricardo Geddes, Damion Williams, Sean Fraser, Rafe Wolfe, Christopher Jackson. Booked: Campbell-Ryce (49th). More in the Forum

Read more 2007 Jamaica Football News

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