Thursday, 28 February 2013

My U20 Disappointment

I am sure you all know how disappointed I was when we lost to Mexico 4 goals to nil in what turned out to be our final game trying to Qualify for the U20 World Cup February 27 played in Mexico. I won't be pointing all over the place as to whom I think should be blamed for this, because in truth and in fact, Jamaica the country lost the game not just the team playing on the field.

The lack of concentration kills me when I watch my team play like how they did. Free headers at the back post, free header in the six yard box, three unmarked players in the box, Jamaica what is going on?

With the absence of an academy I think we may have to take some drastic decisions because this sort of display just can't continue. Don't get me wrong, I am still proud of my U20 team but I do not think we played our best football. I will support Jamaica until I die, but I can't promise not to say anything and cheer as if I am always happy no matter how we play........oh no.

How I feel now about funding this programme is tantamount to pouring water into a gaping orifice which can never be filled. Oral Tracy said in his daily programme Sports Commentary, "we looked like amateurs playing against professionals" and that is the truth.

When something is broken we have to fix it. Spurts won't beat quality teams....enough said about that. What will work is doing the basic things efficiently, purposefully, and mastering them. Are we really learning from our past mistakes? I don't think we are.

Sponsors don't just sponsor for sponsoring sake, they need mileage and presence. We will always be having difficulty with sponsorship in our national programme with displays like these.


  • At this time, scrap the U20 programme and the U17 programme (Students can still get scholarships based on Manning Cup performances in my estimation)
  • Go straight to U10 and pour the money there
  • Get parents involved to the fullest at the U10 level (may cost the JFF less with willing parents helping to spend)
  • Full speed ahead with the mandatory coaching certification to promote higher standards; this will filter to our schools and football leagues around the country
  • Get more people involved with the idea being football agents; what they will learn can invariably help the JFF
  • Get people learning the rules of the game; especially those who attend regular matches in the Jamaican premier league. A footballer may have someone whisper something in his ear which is totally false, but because the person is influential at his home or church, he takes it as gospel; no pun intended.
  • Have regular visits from learned football luminaries tried and proven in the international arena, who can impart relevant knowledge to the youngsters and adolescences. 
I can't take this revolving door scenario with my Young Reggae Boyz anymore. We need to progress now and stop pussyfooting around. The Country's psyche is now fully woven around and into our sports teams; thanks to a certain set of sprinters, stayers, long distance runners, cricketers and the like.

We need to get this thing done through an U10 system.

I just want to ask two questions....

  1. Are these teams (Mexico and Panama) really that much better than my U20 team?
  2. Where is the football academy?

Feel free to comment; Jamaica needs answers for a way forward.

Follow on twitter: @antoniobellmc

© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.