September 6th, 2010
Reggae Boy Demar Phillips rides the challenge of Costa Rica’s Ricardo Blanco during their friendly international at the National Stadium last night. Jamaica won 1-0. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
Following their match against Costa Rica last night at the National Stadium, the Reggae Boyz will depart the island today for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they are down to face Peru in another friendly international slated for tomorrow at Lockhart Stadium.
Game time is 8:00 pm (7:00 pm local time).
Head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore hinted there is a possibility he could re-employ the squad from the Costa Rica game to face the South Americans, but unforeseen circumstances could dictate changes.
“It’s difficult to say at this stage whether we will be taking the same group because you we will have to assess the situation after the game (against Costa Rica) to see if there are injuries or any other factor that would make a player unfit to make the trip,” Whitmore said on Thursday at a press conference at the JFF secretariat to announce details of last evening’s game.
Meanwhile, president of the JFF Captain Horace Burrell said these games form part of the Boyz’s preparation for the Digicel Caribbean Cup which kicks of in November, with the final phase set for December in Martinique.
“What we have done is to step up the preparation for the Caribbean Cup, which will, by extension, put us in a good position as we look to the CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer and our long-term goal of qualifying for Brazil 2014,” said the veteran football executive.
Burrell, given another four-year mandate by the football constituency, told the Observer that he intends to use every FIFA date to positively engage the Boyz (ranked 82nd), and the match-up against number 39th-ranked Peru is in keeping with that programme.
“In the whole process of preparing the team, we decided to take this game as it will be on a FIFA date and we believe in utilising all of the FIFA dates , and I am very satisfied that we were able to pull this one off,” he said.
In allaying concerns of the team playing two games in quick succession, Burrell said that this is the nature of international football, and sought to point out in this particular case that Florida is just a short distance away, so the impact on the players will be minimal.
“Playing two days after playing here (in Jamaica) is not a big deal because you know that Fort Lauderdale is like driving down to Ocho Rios, so that won’t be a problem,” he explained.
The Boyz are expected to depart Jamaica at 6:00 this morning and should be on US soil by 7:30 am (8:30 am Florida time), which will give the players sufficient rest and the technical staff the opportunity to organise a full training session.
WHITMORE… It’s difficult to say at this stage whether we will be taking the same group because you we will have to assess the situation after the game against Costa Rica
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