Rightly so, the public is seeking answers in the wake of the Under-22 Reggae Boyz performing so poorly in the recent Kirin Challenge Cup, losing 9-0 to Japan. Dalton Wint, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), has responded, admitting that the country’s youth football programme is in tatters, in need of serious attention, especially when compared to other nations. “The truth is that these countries are far ahead of us. The sort of investment they are making into their youth programmes, we are not even putting in ten percent because of our inability to do,” Wint said in a recent interview. ‘We are not doing the sort of investing that we should.”
>> SOS: Cricket West Indies looks to foreign coaches
According to recent reports, a lack of expertise in the region has left Cricket West Indies (CWI) with no option but to look overseas for qualified persons to fill coaching positions. “The reality is that we do not have the required persons with the requisite expertise in white-ball cricket, and so we had to look outside the region to fill those positions,” CWI President Ricky Skerritt recently told Lennox Aldred. “The persons that we have brought in like Chris (Barbazon) are internationally qualified, and we believe they will help us to get to where we want to be.”
>> GAME TIME: Francis and Sunshine Girls ready for first test
Connie Francis’ first big assignment as the recently installed head coach of the senior Sunshine Girls team arrives next week with the Vitality Netball Nations Cup, which takes place from January 19 to 26 in England. “I’m very satisfied with the group that we have. It creates a very nice balance because we have the youthful players who are ambitious and want to go out there to show the world that they can play, and I like how they gel with the senior players,” she noted in a Gleaner interview. “To prepare a team to go into such a tournament within three months is very challenging, but I’ve embraced it. I think we have a good squad, and the training has been going well enough.” The Jamaicans are currently ranked fourth in the world behind Australia, New Zealand and England.