Friday, 29 March 2013

Oshane Murray: When The Unthinkable Happens

When something horrific or unthinkable happens and changes the course of our lives, our instant reaction is to look back to basically see if we did enough, or ask ourselves if we could have done things differently. Reason being those hours, days and years we can't get back. Every new day is the first day in the rest of our lives.

I don't think Patricia McIntosh or Luke Murray will be asking themselves anything or looking back based on the unfortunate circumstances befalling their son OSHANE ALTON MURRAY January 30, 2013.

Oshane in my view is an accomplished Jamaican Tae Kwon Do athlete despite his young age. Coaches Jason McKay and Claude Chin would attest to this in an instant. While I could not even perform a kick to hurt a fly, this young man racked up Tae Kwon Do trophies as if he was addicted to them.

I first heard of Oshane's accident on the news, and almost instantly had a headache. My first thought was on his parents (being a parent myself), since he was a young university student at The University of Technology UTECH. He was performing outside his customary discipline (Tae Kwon Do) and hurt himself (spinal injury causing no movement in his lower body) doing a cheerleading manoeuvre at school. He was attempting a summersault when he missed his step and landed badly on his head at a very acute angle. It is no stretch of the imagination to feel the distress of his Tae Kwon Do coaches; the agony of his parents needs no description.

Some timelines may elude me but I will try to give you an idea of what this young boy achieved while still an adolescent. He was just starting to compete as an adult when the unthinkable happened.

US Open Junior Champion - Orlando Florida - July 2010
US Open Champion - Orlando Florida - July 2011
ITF Pan Am Bronze Medallist - Quebec City, Canada - June 2012
Member of Jamaica Combined team winning CAC games - Orlando Florida - July 2012
ISKA Middleweight World Champion - Valkenberg, Holland - November 2012

As you can clearly see from the results above, this was no ordinary athlete.

Oshane attended the following schools:
  • VT Evangelistic Basic School
  • Tarrant Primary School
  • Calabar High School
  • UTECH majoring in Electrical Engineering
Oshane is an example to all including myself to not waste your God given time and talent while you have it. Oshane was not even 20 years old at the time of his accident and look at all he achieved. For that fact and for that fact alone, the notion of what could have been does not come to my mind. What readily comes to my mind is wow, he achieved all that? Oshane lived a lifetime in an instant and anyone who plays any form of sport can appreciate that. Many people have competed for years without that level of success.

My heart goes out to his parents as I know this is one of the worst situations for a parent to be in; the feeling of helplessness must be stifling. Nevertheless, I am sure the pride they have in their son's achievements may alleviate some of the pain they are now feeling.

Oshane is currently on Ward 5 at the University Hospital of the West Indies and I am praying for a miracle.

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© 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.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Life After The Costa Rica Episode March 26

Analyzing our performance against Costa Rica to me would be an exercise in futility. I could just replace the word Panama with Costa Rica in the blog I did after our game against Panama. We were tactically outmaneuvered once again. We are playing as if we got an automatic berth into Rio 2014 and are just fulfilling the fixtures; that is how we look.

Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico play very similar styles of football; this is nothing new. Short snappy passes, possession football, crowding defense, and packed midfield, this is a given. I can't really pin down what the hell type of football we are playing. I can't identify a style of football we are currently using. One thing is certain, nobody else is playing our style of football. For now I will just call it 'The Unidentifiable Style'.....TUS.

We can recap with the blog post below about a football philosophy that is needed in Jamaica.

More pressure will befall Tappa if he continues to NOT find answers for the tactics of the opponents. What I am quite amazed at is how we can clearly see what the opposition is doing against us, but we can't quite decipher what it is the Reggae Boyz are trying to do; in all fairness I only saw a strategy in the Mexico game.

Only if your team is ULTIMATELY SUPERIOR to everyone else you can afford to play the same way all the time (Barcelona/Spain). However, if you are the Reggae Boyz, you play according to your opponents strengths and weaknesses. Hence, Tappa will have to buy, rent, borrow or steal some shrewdness like right now. The opponent has to be dissected, analyzed, weakened and beaten; my new mantra 'do unto other teams what they are currently doing to us'.

Tappa is now becoming like my son, no matter what I tell him to do he refuses and it comes around to bite him. I put forward a strategy to counterattack the Costa Rica team, he chose to do his own thing and we see what happened......2 inna wi gizzad (there's the bite).

We have made absolutely no preparation for the loss of any of our key players and I spoke to this quite early on, but is Tappa listening?

I gave you the team and strategy for didn't listen.

I gave you the team and strategy for Costa didn't listen.

Against my better judgement I am once again going into my strategy bag, to produce the team and strategy for Mexico June 4, and if you don't listen this time.......I can't be held responsible.

Tappa, as soon as I have prepared it I will contact you.

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.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Costa Rica 2 Jamaica 0 - Ah Bwoy

Tappa...Tappa...Tappa....can you hear me Tappa? I get the strange feeling Tappa is ignoring me.

I actually don't know where to start, and honestly this may be a very short blog.

Funny enough, we are still in this World Cup Campaign; we are just making things as hard as possible for ourselves.

There is basically nothing I can say/write that I have not said/written already; so I would basically be repeating myself. I picked the team, gave the strategy, what more can I do?

Friends, all I can say is just look at some of my previous blogs. I don't want to seem like I am berating my National team coach.

I don't think Tappa knows how much humiliation I have to endure (being an ardent Reggae Boyz fan) with results like these. I will just give one comment that a friend (A fool Dayton tek mi coach fah inuh) posted on Facebook to me, he wrote, 'Yow..Bell...a man say wid dem performance here wi definitely a go Rio........Rio Cobre'. How am I to endure things of this nature?

I have one question, who stole Tappa's tactics book? Bring it back now the nation is in need.

Somehow I know Tappa had his tactics book in Mexico, but it seems to have been misplaced. I am willing to go and help look for it.

Every other team is doing what they have to do, doing what they need to do......except Jamaica. This is very distressing.

Tappa, I gave you some advice already but there is one I think you should really take seriously. In the interest of our country I will put it here again.

  • Call Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho or Tito Vilanova and get some tips on how to use the players you have or get the players you need to carry out your game plan and strategy.

Friends I will have to endure the pain of watching this game again before I write anything else on it. I feel like someone gi mi two eayzaz box and mi disoriented. After Costa Rica scored the first goal everything became a blur.

Until then..............

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.

Monday, 25 March 2013

My XI Against Costa Rica March 26

Somehow I don't think Tappa is listening to me when I suggest starting lineups to Nevertheless, I  shall persevere.

Ricketts - Goalkeeper
Mariappa - Centre Half
Taylor - Centre Half
Doyley - Right Back
Lovel Palmer - Left Back (I insist Lovel would do better defensively than Demar)
Elliott - Central Midfield
McAnuff - Left Link
McCleary - Right Link
Austin - Attacking Link
Ryan Johnson - Forward
Beckford - Forward

My strategy would be simple here, work with what is working for you. Outside of the 4-1 victory over Antigua & Barbuda, the last four goals the Reggae Boyz have scored in WCQ have been from dead balls; a corner, two free kicks and a penalty. This dates back to our 2-1 victory over the USA last year.

Ryan Johnson holds up the ball pretty well with his back to goal and Beckford (not sure how badly is his hand injury) has the height to trouble in the air. They aren't blessed with blinding speed but for the purpose of getting fouls close to the 18 yard box and corners in our favour they would be ideal.

We have to now play to the strength of where our goals have the proclivity to come from; no sense in reinventing the wheel right now. We must be getting people to foul us close to their 18 yard box, and scampering to concede corners. This is in fact a strategy.

Who remembers the term 'hack-a-shaq'? It was a defensive strategy to contain Shaquille Oneil in the paint because he couldn't shoot free throws; and it worked pretty well for the Bulls when Jordan was playing. Everyone took turns fouling Shaq once he received the basketball in the paint so no one person would rack up too many personal fouls. This was a strategy.

We are not creating sufficient chances in open play so something has to give. The way the teams in this final round are playing and our reluctance to practice ball possession, making full use of set plays may be our best shot of reaching Rio 2014. This is not exhibition football so it may look ugly; frankly I don't care, I need Jamaica in Rio 2014.

Elliott and Beckford must be the targets of all corners we get....full stop. Beckford must be the target of free kicks coming from the flanks or any crosses eked out by McCleary. It doesn't really matter if Costa Rica sees what we are trying to do. If we do it properly they can't stop it.

McAnuff, McCleary and Austin are very good strikers of the ball; they answer the free kick questions just outside the 18 yard box.

If we are able to keep possession of the ball the opponent invariably will foul; especially Costa Rica who are at the bottom of the table and are desperate for a win. They are going to want that football so they are going to be overly aggressive and that can be to our advantage. Let them foul us in their defensive third as much as possible. However, our passing game needs to be spot on or this may backfire. If our passing goes awry too often people will be out of position and scampering to get back because I can guarantee Costa Rica will be wasting no time on their counter attacks.

Hit the ball to Johnson or Beckford and have Austin, McCleary or McAnuff support that pass. Johnson or Beckford must take on the defender, if not, lay off to the midfielders who in turn go at the defense with dribbles. One of two things will happen; either Costa Rica foul or the Reggae Boyz get behind their defense for a shot at goal.

Second half there is Theo and Teddy chomping at the bit for their share. And we would also have Demar as an option....hmmmmm. We are now well aware of how Theo and Teddy can impact a game when they come on as substitutes.

I honestly am not harboring the thought of a draw in Costa Rica; that is really too risky. We need to win there. Costa Rica is down so keep them down, we are not the Salvation Army.

Nosworthy is out, so be it. If we put forward the notion that we can't do without him that will filter into the team and they may actually believe it. I bind that thought in the name of Jesus. We have suitable options to replace Nosworthy, that is the notion I am putting forward.

Tappa work wid what a work wid you......and oh yeah.....give back Lovel Palmer a call.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

No Validation Needed; Although the Experts See It Too

In reading the Sunday Observer d/d March 24 I saw where the great Donovan Duckie and the equally great Calvin Lewis (I actually know him from our KC days as Dibble) echoed some of the things I posted in my previous blog. We differed on a few things, but we were on the same page for the most part.

Previous blog post:

Observer link to article:

Duckie is a former Jamaica National U20 head coach and Calvin won the Jamaica National Premiere League title with Portmore United last year......I am nobody, just probably the loudest fan for the Reggae Boyz.

From Observer article by Howard Walker:
'Duckie also questioned the rationale of Doyley being left on the bench in favour of a converted midfielder Omar Daley playing right back after Nosworthy got injured'.

From my previous blog:
'Do not replace an injured vital central defender with a converted midfielder which in turn changes the chemistry of the backline. You brought other defenders from England, use them'.

'Bringing on Omar Daley was illogical, isn't Doyley a defender?'

From Observer article by Howard Walker:
'We (Reggae Boyz) never pressed and be aggressive, and it looked like Panama were at their home. When they (Panama) lost the ball they could bounce out, while we couldn't. One, two passes and we kick it upfield, said Duckie'.

From my previous blog and another blog about developing our own philosophy:
'We were not overalled by Panama; more like a little embarassed by them. At one point in time I forgot who was the home team'.

'Often times when we (Reggae Boyz) attack and are not successful it is as if we feel it obligatory to hand over the ball to the opponent so they can attack us'.

I remember when Croatia were trying to qualify for the World Cup 1998 and some members of their media weren't happy with team selection. Coach Miroslav Blasevic couldn't care less and actually finished 3rd in that World Cup tournament. I say that to say this, I hope nobody is TELLING Tappa who to select for my team. I further say that some of the decisions taken do not equate to football logic.

Duckie and Calvin were diplomatic in their utterances to show solidarity with Tappa (I can respect that).

When a team does well the players get the credit. When the team does poorly the coach gets the blame. Such is the nature of professional sports.

Tappa, remember pressure buss pipe.................

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.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Panama 1 Jamaica 1 - Disappointed is an Understatement

This is a long one...some venting necessary.

I doubt I will be able to describe how disappointed I feel in losing two points to Panama. The empirical evidence was there, but I chose to ignore it because of how strong I think my Jamaica team is. I am totally distraught at the outcome of this match. Panama remains unbeaten in FIFA WCQ against Jamaica.

The referee's poor handling of the game is a side show as far as I am concerned. The legend who is my father 'Howard Juicy Bell' has told me time and time again 'Do not leave anything to be decided by umpires or referees, take the game away from them and do what you have to do'. Probably I should send this message to the players.

One thing was clearly clearly evident tonight and that was the tactical superiority of J. Dely Valdes over Tappa Whitmore. This was a lesson in playing to your strength and technical proficiency. We were not overalled by Panama; more like a little embarassed by them. At one point in time I forgot who was the home team.

The #10 for Panama (Barahona I think) was the linchpin once he came on the pitch. Panama were playing very well, but him 'tun up the ting'. This man did not make a bad pass or lose possession of the ball once and he is very skilfull. Everything ran through him once he came on; whether they were coming out of defence or needed an outlet when they couldn't attack. And all attacks seem to come through him. This guy is very dangerous. Shades of Carlos Valderama from Columbia; same built and bleached hair although not as long.

Teddy Johnson and Theo Robinson were the game changers for the Jamaica team. The complexion of the game changed as Theo came on. His first touch was controlling and shooting to goal. Teddy's first contribution was a marauding run at the Panamanians that should have given us a freekick just outside the 18 yard box; but that referee....ah bwoy. They continually ran at the Panamanian defense and it almost bore fruit as a shot went inches outside the upright in the dying moments of the game.

The quality of the playing surface or lack thereof seemed only to affect the Jamaican team. Panama's passes were crisp and beautiful; their wall passes were from the textbook, and their out and out passing rarely went awry. They used this to get to our defensive third almost at will. This game further emphasizes the importance of the defensive maturity of Nosworthy, Mariappa, Taylor and Elliott in this team.

Panama pressed high and deliberate from the first whistle and it seems that it got us out of our rhythm. The  Reggae Boyz seemed quite sure that Panama were coming to play defensive. However, there is a remedy for Panama's high press game-which is done for the purpose of winning the ball in the opposing team defensive third and being able to attack quickly in numbers-; it is called an offside trap. The Reggae Boyz backline should have pushed forward more and have the midfield pressure the Panamanian ball handlers to make a pass; I can't remember Panama being blown for offside (I may be wrong but I can't recall).

Panama were adamant at keeping possession of the ball (I went over the importance of this on many blogs before). Apparently the 5-1 demolition Panama got from Spain taught them the importance of ball possession. And how come Panama get to play Spain as late as November 2012 and the highest ranked team we could play last year was USA? Well that I will tackle another time.

McCleary was dreadfully underutilized in this Panama game, that was not good at all. This player is quick...very quick, and can dribble. Theo Robinson is quick....very quick. Why aren't we playing to the strength of this advantage. And Teddy Johnson is probably even quicker than these players. Beautifully weighted passes to quick forwards make life miserable for defenders. I don't want to see unnecessary diagonal wing passes trying to stretch out defenses (if we are not counter-attacking). If we are building an attack and want to catch teams by surprise, give these guys foot races with defenders at the end of forward passes, I guarantee they won't lose those races. 

Why isn't Jobi McAnuff being used as a creative midfielder?

Reggae Boyz this is the final round of FIFA WCQ's and no team is going to roll over and die so you can go through. Please take this into consideration for the remainder of games.

Okay now for the good stuff. Advice I have for Tappa Whitmore:

  • If you are going to keep Demar Phillips in the starting lineup-at leftback-at least sit him down and let him watch tapes of Paulo Maldini (legendary Italian and AC Milan leftback). He needs to form some chemistry between himself, Mariappa and McAnuff on that side of the field. I am tired of Demar's defensive shortcomings. 
  • Do not replace an injured vital central defender with a converted midfielder which in turn changes the chemistry of the backline. You brought other defenders from England, use them. (Omar Daley was the change for the injured defender Nosworthy).
  • Quit having so much faith in Luton Shelton.
  • Learn how to use Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson. This is one of our most gifted players, find a way to extract his true potential pleeeeeeeease.....before its too late. 
  • Call Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho or Tito Vilanova and get some tips on how to use the players you need-or have-to carry out your game plan and strategy.
  • If you are doing something and its working, do it until it doesn't work. If you are doing something and its not working, do something else. The Panama coach mastered this.
  • I have faith in you Tappa, do what you have to do to keep it. Make the logical decisions that need to be made and stop pussyfooting around. Bringing on Omar Daley was illogical, isn't Doyley a defender? Teddy Johnson for Jobi McAnuff was illogical, Luton Shelton should have come off. Theo Robinson for Jermaine Beckford was fine. Do not spoil your National coaching record.
I have some advice for the Honduran referee Hector Francisco Rodriguez Hernandez:
  • Go and find something else to do other than being a referee. If you want to continue being one I suggest you come back to Jamaica and have Peter Prendergast or Winston Delahaye assist you in learning the rudiments of what is needed from a referee.
In his last 7 games (including tonight) Hec-tor has issued a whopping 43 yellow cards and 3 red cards; 3 of the 43 were second yellows that resulted in red cards in all fairness to him. He issued 6 or more yellow cards in 4 of those 7 games; in one game he issued 9. I don't think I have to go any further with this. I hope Jamaica never has to face this referee again. The officiating was dreadful to say the least.

The high points for the Reggae Boyz:

  • We did not lose
  • Donovan Ricketts.........again
  • The effectiveness of Marvin Elliott (he was also the goalscorer)
  • Purposeful play from Theo Robinson and Teddy Johnson
  • The defense line......again

Our next scheduled game will be against Costa Rica March 26. Please Tappa fix what needs to be fixed before we go there. My support has not waned.

The Reggae Boyz celebrate Marvin Elliott\'s 23rd minute goal - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Photo by Ricardo Makyn

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.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Bridging the Generation Gap by Mentoring

I have spoken and sang in front of crowds from 1985 as a member of the KCCC, various other choirs, as an event host, wedding emcee, dad, you just name it, I was always the designated 'speaker'.

Last night before I went to the Melbourne KC campus to give my little 'talk', I was so excited I almost could not sleep. The call to go was pretty sudden, but everything had to be put on pause, I had school duties to attend to.

Kenneth Peart 'Class of 2009' and one of the coaches of our present Schools Challenge Quiz team was also there giving his support just like me. I was 'Class of 1989', wow what a gap. Nevertheless, we were there in the same capacity and as they say age is just a number. This gentleman is currently doing Dentistry at UTECH and needless to say I'm impressed with what he is doing for KC, while still even a student himself.

My wife accompanied me and that helped quite a lot; she was the designated photographer. As with everything in life it is about balance.

The lads-a word used by our former headmaster Rev. Dr. Vivian Cohen quite a lot-were very attentive and involved; which was rather refreshing. I think it was the time of day being 8 am and all. If it were after lunch I would be dead meat.

I was able to hold their attention for close to an hour and they listened for over 90% of my time there. I made it interactive so many were afraid I would single them out and ask them questions (which i did), so they kept quiet most of the time.

I covered quite a number of areas which they seemed very interested in, these are the main ones, namely:

  • Punctuality (me talking about this is a first) 
  • Respect for tradition
  • Adhering to rules at home
  • Attending Church
  • Perseverance and Diligence
  • Extra Curricular Activity
  • Believing in Yourself

Extolling the virtues of attending KC and what it meant to be a part of the institution left me feeling spry. I explained to them that the full understanding will occur when they actually leave school; as it has happened for all of us Fortisans.

I want to thank Mr Prince (current Math teacher) for inviting me and I guarantee this won't be my last. Contribution of cash, kind or time is always welcome at KC and I want to encourage all the KC Chapters worldwide to continue their work for the school; it is the better for it.

On another note: Congratulations to Mr. Ian Wilkinson Q.C. on receiving his 'Instrument' (the Queen's Counsel Designation) March 14, 2013.
Ian Wilkinson

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© 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.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Rumble at 'The Office' March 22

We are certain of two things that Panama have a proclivity to do; score early and surrender leads. Now on Friday March 22, 2013 I want them to not score and trail even at the final whistle.

Panama is playing well and seem to fear no other team. However, I think their achilles heel is letting in goals in the second half. We must exploit this at all cost; it seems their concentration wanes  between the 50th and 70th minute of play.

Jamaica needs to concentrate for long periods in this game and don't make silly mistakes that are going to cost us. We need to play just as tactical as we did in Mexico and 'nuh gi weh di baahl'.

Panama play the same way all the time, they run hard, they tackle hard, and they are clinical in front of goal. There is no room for errors with this team; they can hurt you, we know that all too well now.

G Gomez and B Perez seem to be their henchmen in front of goal, but defenders like R Torres are also scoring; that concerns me a bit, these guys are scoring from various positions on the field. There is only one forward among the three names I mentioned and that's B Perez.

This will be an acid test for the Reggae Boyz but I think our team is still stronger than Panama at this moment. The inclusion of Beckford, Doyley and Shelton (back from injury) in the squad really adds some much needed depth to the team.

For the full squad see link below

The Jamaica team looks good and strong and the atmosphere seems right for victory.


Photo from JFF website

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© 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.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Champs 2013: Embodying the KC Spirit

Congratulations Calabar on a well organized, well executed victory.

Congratulations Holmwood Girls on a gutsy victory.

The only way I could have enjoyed these Championships more than I did was if Kingston College won. Nevertheless, it has been quite some time that I enjoyed myself as I did on the final day of the Championships.

I arrived at Champs between 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm and the KC contingent cheered nonstop until the end of Champs.

After the penultimate day, I think most of us (KC) knew it would be difficult overhauling Calabar on the final day. Both Cbar and JC were getting multiple people in the finals of most events, while we had probably one or none in some events. There were events we had two athletes in the final, but JC and Cbar had more athletes in more events; that was basically a no-brainer and it would have been just too many mistakes to ask of JC and Cbar. These Champs were basically a three horse race.

This obviously didn't matter to the KC supporters as we cheered and sang as if there was no tomorrow. Even when there was no activity on the track or field there was the cheering by the KC contingent.

What was amazing was that you could not tell if a KC athlete participating was leading or trailing, had just won or just lost, the cheer was the same volume throughout all events. This is where the ultimate KC spirit lies; in the win, lose or draw mentality. The cheers were just as loud even if we were not in the event; this is where the embodiment of the Champs spirit kicked in.

We had a lot to cheer about nonetheless as the many records KC broke will attest to. The link below shows where 239 of the 247.5 points came from; none of our boys I will leave out. Each point was of equal importance; I will not single out anyone in this post.

The fortitude of our athletes and the support from the KC contingent really make me proud. I read recently that 'Purple is not a colour, it is an experience you have to live to understand'.

This is my first blog that I sound so.....KC, because I don't want anyone to get it twisted about KC being upset at losing Champs, far from it. There is no talk of what could have been or might have been, we put in work and achieved as usual.

Special thanks to GraceKennedy for sponsoring these Championships and to ISSA for a well organized event.

Special thanks to the media houses that have changed how we now view and digest these Championships; I continue to be impressed.

Special thanks to all coaches, teachers, parents, KCOB chapters here and there without whom none of the amazing performances would have been possible.

Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest


Omar McLeod of Kingston College gets a kiss from his mother Arnella Morris after he broke the 110 Class One Boys 110m hurdles record - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Photo by Ricardo Makyn

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© 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.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Barcelona: Beyond Football

This current Barcelona team IN MY VIEW have gone beyond being just another football team. I have harboured this thought for some time but their display against AC Milan in their second leg UEFA Champions League match has cemented this belief firmly in my mind.

I commented in Yardie Sports' synopsis of the game that I am sure that coaching manuals are being rewritten because of this team.

After losing 3 games I even heard people talking about the end of an era; I was really lost and wondered what the heck they were talking about. I think the coach's illness played a big part in their recent losses but they have found a way to now cope.

I admit that the 3 defeats (1 to AC Milan and 2 to Real Madrid) really shook up the establishment, but like any well capitalized business, they were able to ride out the storm. Barcelona tweeked the team for the return leg and my word the result says it all.

Belief in self and ones ability is something that can move mountains. I am in awe of this team for what they have done and what they continue to do. Their performance against Milan in the second leg was more than phenomenal, and more than impressive. I believed they could still beat Milan but I hoped for a sudden death scenario because I knew they could manage 2 goals against Milan; but a total demolition of 4, even I was amazed.

Barcelona aren't unbeatable, they just take a hell of a lot of beating. What now seems rather prophetic to me though were the utterances of the Milan camp; the president and coach. It was as if they knew 2 goals were not enough to get pass Barcelona. Statements like 'this tie is far from over' or 'Barca is still the best team in the world'.

This Barcelona team can be used in any classroom to explain what belief in self, tenacity, perseverance, concentration, patience, the common good, group think, how to follow instruction, creativity, using your initiative, and I could go on and on.

Basically this team is the new standard full stop; and they have the accolades and achievements to back that statement up.


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.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Jamaica High School Championships

The championships have started, but things won't heat up until Friday into Saturday. I will be taking my son for the first time this year on Saturday  .

Knowing that Jamaica has produced the fastest human ever over the 100 and 200 metre dash out of these very championships really gives me a sense of pride when I watch the children compete now. As a matter of fact two of the three fastest people over the distances have been produced out of these championships; Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. Also the man who started it all Asafa Powell although from Jamaica did not participate at these championships. Nevertheless, it is on Asafa's shoulders that the big two now stand so there is no way I would leave him out of the mix.

I wish for a peaceful and violence free championships and that the overseas College scouts and recruiters have a field day. Although I would love if our elite athletes opt to stay here, when they shall have left high school, to further cement our dominance in the sprints for generations to come.

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© 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.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Collective Sacrifice Alone Not Enough

The working class has borne the brunt of sacrifices for years and years........and more years. I am a member of that group so I know all too well; however, I don't work in the public sector.

Frankly speaking, I have no problem making a sacrifice to the benefit of my family, community, or country. Where in lies the rub is when you feel you have done this and it has not achieved its objective or you need to make more of them on a continuous basis; in order to make it (whatever it is) work.

This is an editorial excerpt from the Gleaner June 3, 2012 titled 'Wage Freeze a first step'
"It is Dr Peter Phillips' claim that Mr Audley Shaw, and the Jamaica Labour Party administration more broadly, sqaundered the opportunity afforded by the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX) - the arrangement under which domestic holders of Jamaica's bonds agreed in 2010 to lower yields and longer maturities.

It saved the country more than J$40 billion in interest payments and lowered debt-servicing costs from nearly 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to a bit above 40 percent.

The wage agreement for government workers, signed last week between the administration and public-sector unions, is not of the same magnitude of the JDX. It, nonetheless, represents a significant opportunity for Dr. Phillips as he attempts to fashion a recovery programme from Jamaica's sickly economy. 

But this is a narrow window which the People's National Party administration must negotiate with skill lest, in short order, it, too, is accused of squandering an opportunity for moving Jamaica towards a balanced Budget."

The full article can be found on the link below

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so only time will tell if the PNP squanders this opportunity with the new National Debt Exchange (NDX).

The debt exchanges seems inextricably linked to public sector wage freezes. Nevertheless, the author of the editorial-mentioned above-offered possible solutions to Jamaica's current debacle.

I am never the predictor or anticipator of gloom and doom but I have a question. How much of these lost opportunities can Jamaica withstand until it (whatever it is) works?

Our collective sacrifice alone obviously is not enough. I keep hearing and reading that the sacrifices are the start......where is the finish? The country needs to be a net exporter.

The revolving door feeling has got to end at some point.

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© 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.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Children - Extra Curricular Activities

I came across some videos on Youtube that showed the Kingston College Chapel Choir in concert with Christ Church Choir from Oxford (England), performing at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Jamaica 2007. It once again drove home the point to me the importance of extra-curricular activities in schools.

The photo below is an old photo as we now have a new choirmaster; I just wanted one that showed our former choirmaster 'The Great Wayne Moore' and of course one with me in it.


Don't take extra-curricular activities lightly because they help to shape the lives of children as they transition out of school. These activities help the thought process and also help young people to look beyond the obvious. Further to this-and I don't need a study to tell me-it encourages good social behaviour and logical thinking. The cadet, choir, athletics, football, basketball, chess club, key club, dance troupe, swimming, drama, whatever it is, get your child to do something at school.

If I learnt one thing from my choirmaster 'The Great Wayne Moore' was to have patience and work hard until you achieved what you wanted. There were a set of choristers who came in around the years 1985-1986 who were quite rebellious and radical at the time. I won't divulge the names of the choristers but Dave Dacosta, Wayne McCook, Stephen Dennis, Carlyle Brown, Michael Lewis, and myself have an idea of who those choristers were. Now having to deal with my one child makes me appreciate all that Mr. Moore went through and did for us. I couldn't understand for a long time how he put up with us for so long, but listening to the choir makes it quite clear why he did.

I left KC in the 1990's and continued with the choir for almost another 15 years (voluntarily as is still the case with current old boys in the choir), such was the strong link with me, the choir and the school. Only time constraints forced me to back off; which many choristers experienced over the years. I mentioned in a previous post, how Teddy McCook alluded to the obligation I had to the choir once I joined.

There was a conversation between some of us from that era on the pieces we attempted while we were still students at KC. These pieces were major pieces also attempted by some of the most illustrious choirs and orchestras on the planet. Some of us did formal music training in an instrument; very few though, most of the others learnt music at KC in the choir. Attempting and doing these pieces at concerts seemed just part of our school curriculum, nothing major. I now look back and realize what we actually did and what the choir is still doing. The link below is one such piece 'Zadok the Priest'.

This is not a KC message, I just used the KCCC to bring home my point on the importance of extra-curricular activities in schools.


Big up current choirmaster Audley Davidson for helping to foster the KCCC legacy.

KC chapel choir at Songs of Praise CD launch

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.