Selection policy change for Reggae Boyz: Burrell … More emphasis to be placed on home-based players

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Football Federation president Captain Horace Burrell has pointed to a change of policy in selection for the national team, with more emphasis to be placed on home-based players in the future.The veteran administrator said with a new attitude emerging from many of the young players who played domestically, overseas-based professionals were no longer guaranteed of automatic places in the Reggae Boyz squad.“What we are seeing from the young players is a major difference right now in terms of attitude, in terms of really getting out there, doing it, and I think this is one area that we must concentrate on and so the days of players coming from overseas and walking into the national team, those days are behind us,” the Gleaner newspaper quoted Burrell as saying.He added: “In fact, when you look at the players on the field of play, you realise that there is something different, and speaking with my colleagues in CONCACAF, they, too, have noticed that there is a difference, and so we intend to continue along this line, and I am sure that everything will fall into place in the right order.”Foreign-based pros have become a feature of Reggae Boyz sides over nearly the last two decades, as Jamaica have become one of the most powerful nations in Caribbean football.Seven members of their historic World Cup squad in 2002 were based in England and successive World Cup campaigns have seen increasing numbers of players who ply their trade outside of Jamaica.In fact, at the last CONCACAF Gold Cup two years ago when the Reggae Boyz were good enough to reach the final, only two of the 23-player squad were based at home.Jamaica’s failure to reach the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup may have influenced the new approach but Burrell reiterated it was time to change course.“We have to be man enough to say it has not worked and, therefore, after meeting with all the stakeholders, the Jamaica Football Federation decided to embark on a new initiative by including the youngsters and the local-based players who are hungry and who really want to make an impression, and we’re getting the results,” Burrell said.Jamaica are currently preparing for two major tournaments – the Caribbean Cup finals June 22-25 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup July 7-26.last_img

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