Wall says consistent work key to Boyz chances at Concacaf U-20 Champs

By January 12, 2024
John Wall John Wall

While optimistic about Jamaica’s chances of making a deep run in the upcoming Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championships, Head Coach John is cognizant that his team’s performance will be dependent on their build up to the tournament.

It is for that reason why Wall welcomed an ongoing four-day camp with local-based players, which will be followed by three friendly encounters in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the big show in St Kitts and Nevis next month.

With the qualifiers scheduled for February 23 to March 2, Wall and his team engage Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-20 team in two games, with the other set to be against a senior team from the twin island republic.

Those games are scheduled for January 22 to February 2, and will be followed by a pre-tournament camp locally from February 14-21.

"I think it is another assessment round with the domestic players ever since March during those two sessions a month, then obviously, we stopped September, October, November and then commenced again December with a small scrimmage [practice] against Portmore United. I really appreciate that they were able to play us, and it gave me a lot of insights too," Wall said.

"So, I am very excited about this camp, which has now started. I am very excited about the talent that is in store, and I am looking forward to the next four days of action. It is a great opportunity for the players to impress ahead of the qualifiers and an opportunity to showcase their worth in a very busy calendar going into 2024," he added.

Wall explained that the camp in Trinidad and Tobago will also be used to engage overseas-based players and simulate a tournament format with games being played every other day.

“These games will basically put the staff to work as well because we will basically be playing every other day, so the recovery will be important which is why we want to use these games to mimic that scenario,” he explained.

“We also want to give a full scope to know who they (overseas-based players) are, see how they fit into the group and how they can aid us and ultimately see if they can qualify for the U-20s final squad. We would like to have a full calendar where everyone (local and overseas) is synchronized, but the biggest thing now is that Jamaica has started to export players in a bigger volume than it is right now, that’s one of my concerns,” he noted.

With Jamaica drawn in Group F alongside Bermuda, Martinique and Grenada, Wall pointed out that they have already down their homework on the opponents.

But, in the same breath, he argued that it would mean very little if they aren’t adequately prepared and ready to challenge for the coveted top spot, as only the group winners will progress to the next phase of the tournament to join the top teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic –ranked in that order.

“Martinique had four of their U-20 players in that game against Lille which they lost 12-0; Grenada has five English-based players that is going to be a part of their squad and we basically have them covered, and Bermuda hasn’t started preparations as yet, so they are more of a dark horse. But for me it’s about controlling the controllable at this point in terms of what we can do,” Wall declared.

“My hope and aspiration (for the tournament) lie in the work that we put down and not the talent that we assess, so we have to do the work consistently because ultimately what I care about is making sure that Jamaica prevails,” he ended.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Related items

  • Ahead of World Indoors, Bahamas' Charlton, Jamaica's Campbell score impressive victories at World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Madrid Ahead of World Indoors, Bahamas' Charlton, Jamaica's Campbell score impressive victories at World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Madrid

    Bahamian sprint hurdler Devynne Charlton dazzled at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Madrid, coming within a hair's breadth of equaling her own world indoor 60m hurdles record. The impressive performances unfolded on Friday as athletes geared up for the impending World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

     Two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser set the tone with a 7.79-second victory in the first 60m hurdles heat, equaling the meeting record. Charlton seamlessly matched this time in the second heat, visibly easing down toward the end of the race. The Bahamian sprinter then took center stage in the final race of the evening, showcasing her prowess.

     Devynne Charlton's flawless performance saw her gracefully navigate the hurdles, ultimately crossing the line in 7.68 seconds. Although slightly adjusted from an initial 7.67, this remarkable time stands as the equal third-fastest in history and set a new meeting record. Nadine Visser secured second place in 7.78, just 0.01 seconds shy of her personal best, while Pia Skrzysowska claimed third in 7.83.

     Expressing her joy, Charlton said, "I set myself all of these goals. I said I wanted to win the World Indoor Tour and break the world indoor record and I want to be a world indoor champion, so I’m just ticking all of the boxes. There’s just one more to go. If this is any preview to the World Indoors, then I’d say I’m on the right track. I’m having fun."

     In the men's shot put, Jamaican athlete Rajindra Campbell delivered a stunning performance, saving his best for last. While two-time world indoor champion Tom Walsh initially seized the lead with a 21.44m heave, Campbell responded with a 21.75m throw in round three. Walsh counteracted with a meeting record of 21.95m in round four.

     In a dramatic turn of events, Campbell, competing in the city where he set an outdoor Jamaican record last year, unleashed a colossal 22.16m throw in his final attempt. This not only secured his victory but also established a new meeting record and a Jamaican indoor record. Walsh concluded with a season's best of 22.02m, earning just enough points in the World Indoor Tour to clinch the series title, despite falling short of individual victory.

  • Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern ahead of his summer exit Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern ahead of his summer exit

    Thomas Tuchel insists he will give everything to Bayern Munich ahead of his departure in the summer and hopes the decision over his future allows the team to play with “freedom”.

    Tuchel has been unable to arrest a downturn in form, and speculation over his position came to a head this week when the club announced he would be leaving at the end of the current campaign.

    Saturday’s game against RB Leipzig will be his first in charge since the news became public, with Bayern looking to end a three-game losing streak following losses to title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio and Bochum.

    And while there is a possibility Tuchel could be seen as a lame duck coach over the coming months, he thinks the removal of uncertainty over his role could spark an upturn.

    “I view it professionally and unemotionally. It’s a professional sport at the highest level,” he said of his shortened reign.

    “There aren’t guilty individuals. I don’t think I’m the only problem, but I have responsibility. Now we have a new situation, it’s resolved, which hopefully makes it clear and brings freedom.

    “This job only works if I give 100 per cent of myself. I have a very high professional expectation of myself and that’s completely dedicated to Bayern Munich until the end of the season. We have aims: we’re going for the maximum in the league and won’t give up until it’s over. In the Champions League we still have a second leg (against Lazio), so we are playing for maximum success.”

    Tuchel resisted the temptation to divert blame away from himself and on to his players, but accepted the performance levels on matchday had been falling consistently short of expectations.

    “The management know my analysis, which is also very self-critical. But it’s definitely not an analysis for the public,” he said.

    “I’m not personally disappointed in the players. We have high standards, that won’t change. I’ve never had the feeling that there’s a big problem but there is a glaring discrepancy between the way we’re training and the way we’re playing. We’ve trained at a good level but that’s no guarantee that we’ll produce a good performance.”

    Injuries have upset Bayern’s rhythm this term and they continue to be stretched, with Dayot Upamecano suspended and an injury list that contains Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey, Noussair Mazraoui, Bouna Sarr, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies.

    Leipzig have proved tricky opponents in recent times, taking two draws and two wins from their last four games against Bayern.

    Dani Olmo bagged a hat-trick when his side romped to a 3-0 win in the Super Cup final last August, a memory that still burns bright with the Spaniard.

    “I would say it was a perfect game from all of us and for me individually to score three goals in Munich, in the Allianz, and to be able to win a trophy,” he said.

    “It was for sure one of my best performances but we have to keep going because football never stops and now we have another chance. Bayern is always the opponent that motivates us. It’s always special.”

  • Premier League’s auditor awarded key contract related to independent regulator Premier League’s auditor awarded key contract related to independent regulator

    The Premier League’s auditor Deloitte has been awarded a key contract in helping to set up football’s independent regulator, the PA news agency understands.

    Sources have expressed concern over a potential conflict of interest for financial services firm Deloitte, which signed off the Premier League’s most recent set of annual accounts.

    The EFL and campaign groups want the regulator to be able to review whether any new deal agreed between the Premier League and the EFL on how television cash is split meets the regulator’s stated aim of ensuring the sport’s financial sustainability.

    The involvement of Deloitte has raised some eyebrows, at a time when the regulator’s precise remit is still unclear as the wait goes on for the publication of the Football Governance Bill.

    EFL clubs left a meeting with Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer last week concerned that the regulator would not be given powers to correct any  settlement which is agreed, something which football reform group Fair Game has said would be “unacceptable”.

    Government sources say the Deloitte contract will involve the firm providing support around the design and implementation of the regulator’s operating model, and insist the firm will not be providing advice on, or developing, regulator policy.

    Deloitte will look at how the regulator is structured, staffed, and its systems and infrastructure requirements, the Government source said.

    They said any potential conflicts of interest would be managed in the usual way, and were considered as part of the procurement process.

    The Government and Deloitte declined to comment.

    EFL chairman Rick Parry told MPs last month that his organisation was prepared to do a deal with the Premier League but stressed that the “right solution” on financial distribution and cost controls would only be reached through independent analysis by the regulator, as part of a planned ‘state of the game’ review once it is up and running.

    The EFL has declined to comment following last week’s meeting as it continues dialogue with the Government, but Fair Game – which has 13 EFL clubs within its membership – insists the regulator must have the power to intervene.

    “The number one stated aim of the regulator is to secure the financial sustainability of the football pyramid,” Fair Game’s director of advocacy Mike Baker said in a statement issued on Friday.

    “So it is not about having any regulator, it’s about having the right regulator. The status quo is not acceptable.

    “The proposed backstop powers (of the regulator) currently can only be triggered by the Premier League and the EFL authorities, and if a deal is signed now for six years the regulator will have no powers to correct it.

    “That is unacceptable. If the regulator is to achieve its core objectives then it must oversee football’s finances and reward well-run clubs. Anything else and we will have a regulator that lacks the teeth to fix football’s ills.”

    The deal under discussion between the Premier League and the EFL is believed to be worth an additional £900million over six years to the EFL’s clubs, but the EFL has strong misgivings over the cost control measures attached to it.

    While clubs in the Championship are expected to be capped at spending around 70 per cent of revenue on squad costs, in line with UEFA’s new financial sustainability regulations, those relegated to the second tier are set to be capped at 85 per cent while they are in receipt of parachute payments.

    That would mean those clubs being able to spend a greater percentage of a larger amount than non-parachute rivals. Parry believes that puts non-parachute clubs in the “horrendous” position of having to choose between being competitive and sustainable and will widen the cliff edge between the top two divisions.

    Top-flight clubs are still to agree on how any extra funding for the EFL is paid for, and on a new financial system for the Premier League to ultimately replace its profitability and sustainability rules (PSR).

    Premier League clubs are due to gather for further shareholder meetings on February 29 and March 11, with the latter understood to be the more likely to prove decisive in moving this issue forward.

    PA understands a number of EFL clubs, even those who had been inclined to agree to the deal, are now feeling more hostile towards the process following the meeting with Frazer which some described as “a car crash”.

    Accrington chairman Andy Holt took to social media to voice his concerns about it and felt Frazer was applying pressure to agree to the deal, even though the ball remains in the Premier League’s court at this stage.

    Government sources have said Frazer’s position was misinterpreted and that she was advising clubs to do a deal, as has always been the Government’s position, not necessarily to accept the deal that was on the table.

    A publication date for the Football Governance Bill, which has the creation of the regulator at its heart, is still understood to be some weeks away after there had been indications it could be published on Monday next week.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.