Soca Warriors coach Stephen Hart says he expects Jamaica to be tough hosts in tomorrow’s friendly International at the Catherine Hall Stadium Sports Complex, in Montego Bay.
The “Reggae Boyz” are coming off a 2-2 draw with 2014 World Cup qualifiers Honduras in their final qualifying match last month but finished bottom of the six-team table and are using this match to launch their Russia 2018 campaign, as announced by Jamaica Football Federartion (JFF) president Horace Burrell earlier this month. T&T, back then, had played to a 0-0 draw at home to New Zealand, Brazil 2014 World Cup hopefuls, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
German Winfried Schafer is now at the helm of the Jamaican team and he is eager to secure his first victory at home with the 1998 World Cup finalists. Additionally, the Jamaicans are not too impressed by T&T’s recent jump ahead of them in the latest Fifa rankings with the “Warriors” one spot ahead of them in 81st position.
“It’s quite natural that they will try to be very difficult opponents because they are at home and the rivalry between the two countries is one of the biggest in Concacaf,” Hart said.
“They are coming off a campaign that didn’t go too well for them and they are in the process of preparing for 2018, in a similar position to us at the moment.
But we’ve arrived in Montego Bay also fully aware of what this game means to us and our people and the players are always ready for this kind of challenge. I know a lot of the boys are quite keen to get a good result and we will approach the game in a manner that it deserves.”
Hart will have to do without Philadelphia Union midfielder Keon Daniel, who did not make the trip to join the T&T team after being called up last week.
The T&T coach will not name a replacement which means T&T will go into Friday’s game with 17 players as Port Vale’s Christopher Birchall, Carlos Edwards of Ipswich Town and North East Stars’ Trevin Caesar will join the team on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s return friendly at Mucurapo.
For that match, Hart will also excuse Justin Hoyte as the player has just completed a move to Millwall and the club has requested his presence in their camp ahead of their next outing while defender Sheldon Bateau will also return to Belgium to rejoin KV Mechelen following Friday’s match in Montego Bay.
Hoyte, speaking at the team’s base at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay, was quite eager about facing the Jamaicans on Friday.
“I’m ready for them. I’ve heard a lot about this match up and I’m really looking forward to stepping on the pitch and being part of it. I would have loved to be in squad for the two games but obviously Millwall wants me to be around because I’ve just signed with them and the manager wants me to be in the preparations after Friday. I’m very thankful to Stephen Hart and the association for their understanding,” Hoyte said.
Stoke City’s Kenwyne Jones and the 16 other members trained in Montego Bay on Tuesday night and were carded to engage in another session yesterday evening.
Tickets for Tuesday’s match which will be available from today, are priced at $100 (covered stands) $75 (uncovered) and children under 12 free. Tickets will be available at Kenny’s Sports Outlets nationwide and Fan Zone Movie Towne (Port of Spain) and Gulf City.
By Paul Reid (Jamaica Observer).
Kenwyne Jones, who starts for English Premier League team Stoke City, will lead Trinidad and Tobago's attack against Jamaica in their friendly international at the Montego Bay Sports Complex tomorrow evening, starting at 8:30 pm.
Jones arrived in the island yesterday and was listed in the Trinidad team that was announced at a press conference held at the RIU Montego Bay Hotel in Rose Hall.
He is the top scorer this season so far with four goals for Stoke City, who are in 17th place in the EPL, just above the relegation zone, one of three teams with 10 points.
Jamaica, meanwhile, have included three teenagers in their team — schoolboys Isamnia Cohen of Manchester High and Khesanio Hall, who has scored 34 goals for St Elizabeth Technical in the daCosta Cup.
Seventeen-year-old striker Michael Seaton, who is from Spanish Town and was part of the 2012 Under-17 team and is now part of the DC United Academy, has also been called up by coach Winfried Schafer.
Meanwhile, Schafer also said they had invited Montego Bay United's striker Dino Williams, but the player had to turn down the invitation as he was injured.
The Caribbean rivals will play two games during the FIFA break with the second game set for Trinidad on Tuesday, and the coaches for both teams think the games will be good for their respective programmes.
Schafer told the press conference that the games against Trinidad "are a very good test for us" and said the series of games planned will allow the young players to grow.
The games he said "will give the young players the chance to make mistakes so we can help them get better".
The German, who is expected to sign a new four-year contract with the Jamaica Football Federation soon, said "this is the start of a new chapter where we can test players and see what we have".
Stephen Hart, who formerly coached the Canadian national senior men's team, said this was "a rebuilding phase for our programme and we need to play against teams like Jamaica", and also promised "entertaining football to give the fans what they pay for".
Jamaica — Richard McCallum, Jermaine Anderson, Montrose Phinn, Kemar Lawrence, Brian Brown, Gariece McPherson, Keammar Daley, Darren Mattocks, Omar Daley, Alva Powell, Adrian Reid, Deshawn Brown, Jason Johnson, Michael Seaton, Je-Vaughn Watson, Decoy Williams, Upstan Edwards, Ricardo Morris, Jermaine Woozencroft, Andrew Vanzie, Isamnia Cohan, Khesanio Hall
Trinidad and Tobago — Jan-Michael Williams, Cleon John, Daneil Cyrus, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Carlyle Mitchell, Aubrey David, Curtis Gonzales, Justin Hoyte, Kevan George, Densill Theobald, Joevin Jones, Ataullah Guerra, Kenwyne Jones, Rundell Winchester, Andre Boucaud, Sheldon Bateau, Lester Peltier.
By Adrian Frater (Jamaica Gleaner)
HOSTS Jamaica and arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) will be aiming for good performances tomorrow night, when they square off in the first of two friendly international football games at Montego Bay Stadium in St James, starting at 8:30 p.m.
"This is the beginning of our 'Road to Russia' 2018 campaign ... this is a chance to test some of our young, local-based players and the US-based players," said Reggae Boyz head coach Winfred Schäfer, during a press conference in Montego Bay yesterday.
"Presently, we are looking to build a team for the future with players who are of good character."
Following Friday night's game, which promises to be the first of many games the Jamaica football Federation (JFF) plans to stage in Montego Bay, the teams will journey to Trinidad for the return contest, at Hasely Crawford Stadium, next Tuesday.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to play these two games against Jamaica ... we are in a rebuilding phase in our programme ..., this should be a good test against a Jamaican team which was recently involved in a competitive World Cup campaign," said Stephen Hart, T&T's head coach.
He added: "We are hoping to put on a good performance that should provide the team with high-quality entertainment."
Testing their mettle
While the Reggae Boyz and the Soca Warriors will be testing their mettle on the lush green Catherine Hall surface, Jamaica Football Federation boss Captain Horace Burrell will be testing the readiness of the west to host international football.
"The support we get from this game on Friday night will go a long way in determining whether or not it is feasible to stage games here in western Jamaica," said Burrell. "The Catherine Hall facility is a small facility and even if it is full to capacity, that might not cover the cost of staging the game."
Fans utilising the bleachers, which holds approximately 4,000 fans, will be required to pay a $500 entry fee, while those occupying the grandstand, which includes the VIP area, will be asked to pay $1,000 and $1,500, respectively.
JAMAICA: Richard McCallum (Waterhouse), Jermaine Anderson (Waterhouse), Montrose Phinn, (Harbour View), Kemar Lawrence (Harbour View), Brian Brown (Harbour View), Gariece McPherson (Cavalier SC), Keammar Daley (Tivoli Gardens), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Omar Daley (Minnesota United), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids), Jason Johnson (Houston Dynamo), Michael Seaton (DC United), Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas), Dicoy Williams (Harbour View), Upston Edwards (Portmore United), Ricardo Morris (Portmore United), Jermaine Woozencraft (Montego Bay United), Andrew Vanzie (Portmore United), Insamnia Cohen (Manchester High School), Khesanio Hall (St Elizabeth Technical High School) and Adrian Reid (Portmore United)
T&T: Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic), Justin Hoyte (Milwall), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Radanfah Abu Bakr (FC Vostok), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps), Aubrey David (Caledonia AIA), Sheldon Bateua (KV Mechelen), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), André Boucaud (Notts County), Kevan George (Colombus Crew), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Lester Peltier (Caledonia AIA), Ataullah Guerra (Rovaniemen Palloseura), Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City/captain)