Stop ‘dissing’ the local players

first_imgAs the momentum begins to gather ahead of the semi-final round of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying, the perennial and ever-revolving debate about the disdain for local-based players and the converse obsession with foreign-born players for the senior Reggae Boyz team continues. Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell was at it again last week travelling to England to try and convince more players to join the squad heading into the semi-final group of death fixtures involving Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti. The thinking remains for the captain and all the recent coaches of the national senior team: the more foreigners, the better the team. The obvious inference is that players in the second or third tier of English football or players in the abstract leagues of Scandinavia, or even in the American Major League Soccer and its supporting leagues are automatically and significantly of superior quality to all players playing locally. This, to my mind, represents a disrespect of local football generally, and commensurate dissing of the local players. Chairman of the Harbour View Football Club Carvel Stewart, who has held firm to his conviction on this issue, stated again last week that Jamaica would not make it back to the World Cup Finals until a local-based core of players is established as part of the senior squad. While agreeing with the general sentiments of Mr Stewart, my wording would be different. My sentiments are, until the delicate balance between the number of foreign-born players and the number of local-based players is struck, Jamaica will struggle to get back to the World Cup Finals. At the moment, instead of a delicate balance being struck, there is a distinct bias at work. It might turn out to be a “curse in disguise” for the long-term development of the national football programme that Jamaica performed so well in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. What that string of performances has provided is a “false vindication” for “more foreigners policy”. What is fast becoming my “pipe dream” is for that elusive right balance to be found – not a sharp swing from one extreme to the other extreme, where it’s either what we have now or the practice of playing a group of local-based players exclusively to look at them and ask them to prove themselves. That strikes me as a ploy to ensure that the local- based players fail, ensuring it’s business as usual and another scamper or two or three up to England to try and convince some more unwilling players to “try Jamaica”. Impractical solution Mr Stewart and others have proposed the formation of a local-based squad to be kept in training. I think that suggestion has actually outlived its practicality since the majority of the best players are based overseas. It is highly unlikely that Jamaica will be able to afford the luxury of playing a full local team on a consistent basis. Therefore, middle ground should be found. There are local-based players who can make at least the Jamaican squad on merit if they are given a fair chance. Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence and Hughan Grey are testament to that. They got a chance, grabbed it. It would be great to see players like Dino Williams or Allen Ottey from Montego Bay United get some significant playing time with a full-strength team around them. Same for players like Ricardo Morris from Portmore United, or Vishunal Harris from Arnett Gardens, or Chevonne Marsh from Cavalier, or any other promising young local-based player as identified by the coaching staff. Keep them in and around the team and manage their development. My theory, however, hinges on the technical leadership of the football, having faith in the talent and potential of these local-based players. Sadly, that faith is non-existent at the moment.last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL JUNIOR LEAGUERESULTS SUNDAYBrian Mc Cormick Sports Premier DivisionCranford United 0 Gweedore Celtic 0 In a match that had everything apart from goals Gweedore Celtic went away happiest from this final day game for both teams. Cranford had the earliest chance when Shaun Mc Elwaine headed across the goal and Philip Buchanan was inches away from tapping home. Tommy Diver had Gweedore’s best chance when he fired a right foot shot just over the bar. The rest of the half was closely fought with most of the play around the midfield area. The second half saw Gweedore settle for the draw with Paul Rua and Kevin Friel doing well for the away way side. Cranford did have chances through a Kyle Black free kick and Micheal Mc Ginley header but the breakthrough just wouldn’t come. Cranford now await next weeks results with Gweedore Celtic looking ahead to their Ulster Cup final against Glengad. Best for Cranford were Arthur Lynch, Seamus Carr and Seamus Mc Laughlin. Best for Gweedore Ned Curran, Micheal Mc Kelvey and Kevin FrielUlster Junior ShieldMoville Celtic 0 Raphoe Town 1Raphoe Town will fly the Donegal Junior League flag in the inaugural final of the newly formed Ulster Junior Shield competition. Despite the disappointment of missing out on a promotion/relegation play-off spot on goals difference the East Donegal side lifted their spirits and went into this game with the intention of prolonging their season by another few weeks. In a first half dominated by Raphoe Jamie Gallagher scored what was to be the match winning goal. The second half saw Moville Celtic throw everything forward in an effort to get level but Raphoe managed to hold out and it is their name that is in the historic first ever final of this competition. Their opposition will come in the form of Inishowen League outfit Aileach F.C. and no final date is known at time of writing.SATURDAYOld Orchard Saturday Division OneRamelton Mariners 0 Glencar Celtic 8 On the day that Glencar Celtic were presented with their first ever League Title Trophy they met a Ramelton Mariners side who were unable to match them in any sector of the field. As the final scoreline suggests it was one way traffic from start to finish and many of the usual suspects added to their season’s tallies in the grey and black of the Letterkenny based outfit. Hat-tricks from Paddy Rafferty and Stephen Browne were added to by goals from Marty Brogan and Conor Crossan as the League Champions hit eight without reply. So it was off to celebrate the title for the Glencar Celtic players and for Ramelton Mariners it is a case of rebuilding for next season.Orchard F.C. 5 Mulroy Celtic 1Orchard F.C. claimed all three points from this match. In a tight first half Orchard opened the scoring on twenty minutes when Barney McMenamin broke down the left and slipped a ball through to Chucky Sweeny who slotted past the advancing keeper. The second goal came early in the second half when Luke Friel slotted home from inside the box. Orchard added a third on sixty minutes when Niall Bonner drilled his shot home from the edge of the box and Chucky Sweeney added his second and Orchard fourth on seventy minutes from close range. Mulroy pulled one back on seventy five minutes, a fine shot from the edge of the box. Niall Bonner wrapped up the scoring on eighty minutes when he finished from close range.Best For Orchard F.C. : Niall Bonner, John Boyle and Chic McLaughlin Beat for Mulroy : Team Performance. Referee : Victor RaineyGlencar Inn Saturday Division TwoArranmore United 1 Keadue Rovers Reserves 0Arranmore celebrated winning the league with a 1-0 win against local rivals Keadue Rovers Reserves. Keadue were intent on spoiling the party and threatened early on but David Sweeney couldn’t convert. Chris Mc Glanaghy wasted a good chance when he headed over from a Declan Proctor corner. It remained scoreless at the interval. Both sides had chances from set pieces in the 2nd half but neither keeper was tested. Arranmore got the winner in the 85minute as Paul Mc Garvey and Doalty Boyle combined for the latter to head home from 10 yards shortly after coming off the bench.Donegal Junior League Secretary Christina O’ Donnell was present to present Arranmore United team captain, Danny Rodgers, with the Glencar Inn Saturday Division Two cup at the end of the game. There were great scenes of jubilation around Rannagh Park, the attendance boosted by many locals who had returned home from various parts of the world to spend the Easter holidays. The switch to Saturday football has certainly proved to be the saviour of the countries only Island club. For this the club paid thanks to the League Executive and the other clubs who facilitated them in the switch.Glenree United Reserves 4 Gweedore United Reserves 3In glorious conditions in Glenree Park it was the home side that came out on top in the end in this promotion battle with Gweedore United. Gweedore opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Shaun Paul Mc Mahon was put through to beat the out rushing keeper. Both teams created a few half chances before the next goal was scored by Shane Gallagher who headed it into the top corner from a corner kick. Its stayed like this up to half time. Ten minutes into the second half Nicholas Nelis flicked the ball into the net from a corner to give the home side a fighting chance. The home side pushed hard for the equaliser but Gweedore stood strong and regained their two goal lead on the hour mark when, from another corner, Owen Debar finished well to make it a tough last 20 minutes for the home team. John Coll made an inspiring tactical decision to push big John Mc Clafferty into the middle of the field which released Ciaran ‘Macca’ Cunningham, a switch which would pay off later in the match. A free kick was won on the 74th minute. Reliable free kick taker Darren Connor stepped up to beat the keeper who misjudged the flight of the ball. Gweedore were starting to get a little nervy and it got worse for them when Macca spotted the keeper off his line and curled the ball into the top corner, with ten minutes remaining, to level the scoreline. The home side’s tails were up and Gweedore seemed to be out on their feet a little. The Glenree outfit went for the win as the away side seemed to be going defensive. Glenree put them to the sword in the 90th minute when another free kick was awarded 20yards out which invited Vinny Mc Laughlin to hit a sweetly struck shot and watch it sail past a helpless goalie. It was nothing less than what the home side deserved for their second half performance alone. Best for Gweedore United were Shaun Gallagher and Owen Debar. An outstanding team performance from the Glenree United Reserves outfit.WEDNESDAYBrian Mc Cormick Sports Premier DivisionCurragh Athletic 3 v 4 Milford UnitedSATURDAYOld Orchard Saturday Division OneRamelton Mariners 0 v 8 Glencar CelticOrchard F.C. 5 v 1 Mulroy CelticGlencar Inn Saturday Division TwoArranmore United 1 v 0 Keadue Rovers ReservesGlenree United Reserves 4 v 3 Gweedore United ReservesSUNDAYBrian Mc Cormick Sports Premier DivisionCranford United 0 v 0 Gweedore CelticMilford United P v P Glenea UnitedUlster Junior ShieldMoville Celtic 0 v 1 Raphoe TownDONEGAL LEAGUE – ALL THE REPORTS, RESULTS AND FIXTURES was last modified: April 20th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Leaguelast_img read more