New Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes he is the perfect match for Jamaica's football

By September 16, 2022
New Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes he is the perfect match for Jamaica's football JFF

Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrimsson was on Friday introduced as the new head coach of the Jamaica National Senior team in what Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts described as a game-changing event.

Having signed a four-year contract, the 55-year-old dentist who guided Iceland to FIFA World Cup qualification in 2018 has been tasked with aiding the development of Jamaica’s football and qualifying for the 2026 World Cup that will be held jointly by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Ricketts described the signing of Coach Hallgrimsson as the ushering in of a new era that will see the controversy-plagued administration change direction.

“The federation has been making important internal changes that will position the federation to fully support what we will announce today as well as a number of other national activities,” he said during the press conference to announce the new coach at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston on Friday afternoon.

“The changes I will not speak about too much except to say that the call to action for optimism is based on efforts that we will all make effective immediately. On behalf of the Jamaica Football Federation, I wish to formally announce that Mr Heimir Hallgrimsson has accepted the offer of the JFF to become the head coach of the senior men’s national team for a period of four years.”

Declaring that he chose to take the Jamaica project because of the great potential for success, Hallgrimsson was under no illusions regarding to the magnitude of the undertaking.

“When I was looking for projects to coach, I was really selective. It was not about money, it was about the project and for me, it was a perfect match to come now to Jamaica and to try to fix what is broken, obviously, there are some obstacles we have to cross and we have to improve some big things but for me, it was a perfect match. I see so much potential here and if I compare this one to the Icelandic project I think the potential is much more than in Iceland,” he said.

That said, Hallgrimsson is also aware that he does not have much time to right the many wrongs of Jamaica’s football.

“We have a year until we start playoffs (World Cup qualification) the group stage of the World Cup so we have to start quickly and try to stabilize the Jamaica national team. The second job is assisting in the improvement of football here in Jamaica through coaching education of elite players and we are happy to be a part of an assist in that,” he said.

“While going this, we all know that in every match there is pressure to win. There is an expectation to win and no coach will survive in his job without winning football matches. So two different things, first to develop talent and the second to improve the national team and I think both of these projects can support each other.”

To do that, Hallgrimsson will bring with him two other coaches, who he believes will be assets to his plans.

“I will bring two coaches with me. One assistant his name is John Wall. He is a teacher, has a BA in Sports Science, coached at many levels in Sweden. He was a tactical coach for the Finnish national team. He is good in player development and really useful in the transition getting local players to a higher standard and eventually and hopefully to the national team,” he said.

“The other staff member I will bring with me is Gudmundur Hreidarsson. He will be our goalkeeper coach. I worked with him for seven years in the national team. All the years I was there he was the goalkeeper coach. He is, in my opinion, one of the best ones I’ve seen. He has the highest education possible for goalkeeper coaches in Europe, very experienced.”

Hallgrimsson’s first test will be against Argentina in less than two weeks and he believes that the encounter against the number-four ranked team in the world will be a blessing in disguise.

 “It’s a great opportunity because they will expose all of our weaknesses, especially defensive weaknesses,” he said.

“Probably, we will be defending more or less, most of the game so it’s really a good chance to see how are when we compare to the best in the world.”

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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