Jamaica's participation in UEFA U-18 Friendship tournament aimed at player development

By Sports Desk April 17, 2024

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has assembled an Under-18 team to contest a week-long tournament in Turkey, which is aimed at strengthening the country’s youth programme and, by extension, prepare players for future tournaments.

With their being no FIFA or Concacaf Under-18 tournament to qualify for, JFF's technical committee chairman Rudolph Speid views this UEFA Under-18 Friendship tournament as part of the Under-20 qualifying programme and overall national team development.

A 20-player team to be led by Lenworth ‘Teacha’ Hyde and former Reggae Boyz player Rudolph Austin, will depart the island of on Friday for Turkey, where they will cross swords with Saudi Arabia, the host nation, and Mali on April 22, 24 and 27, with cross zone games being played on April 30. Ecuador, Guatemala, Morocco and Slovakia, will contest Group B.

“It is a development tournament. A lot of the players are eligible for the under-20 World Cup qualifiers, the younger ones of the group. The ones now taking part in the under-20 qualifiers are the 18 and 19-year-olds, so the 18-year-olds on the (youth) World Cup qualifying squad will be included here,” Speid said in a recent interview.

This UEFA Friendship tournament is a new initiative aimed at creating opportunities for talented young players to gain additional experience playing international football against teams from different confederations.

The tournament will provide a unique opportunity for technical staff and players to grow both on and off the pitch, as they will experience different playing styles and cultures.

“It is just another way to try and develop the players and give them international exposure as part of the whole World Cup qualifying development programme. We are doing a lot of things to get the team up to standard to compete. Even if some of these guys don’t make it into the qualifying squad, the exposure will be good for them," Speid noted.

 

Delegation: Players – Jordane McDowell (Portmore United), Javin Williams (Reno FC), Taywane Lynch (Mt. Pleasant), O'Neil Headley (Chapelton Maroon), Dustin Cohen (Vere United), Jloyd Smith (Cavalier FC), Daniel Clarke (Unattached), Nashon Bolt (Arnett Gardens), Justin McPherson (Unattached), Nashardo Gibbs (Real Mona), Dylan John (Unattached), Orane Watson (Chapelton Maroon), Matthew Ellis (Cavalier FC), Ja-Son Whyte (Humble Lion), Ron Webb (FC Manchester), Deandre Gallimore (Chapelton Maroon), Alex James (Real Mona), Dantae Escoffery (Petersfield FC), Odane Wilberforce (Cavalier FC), Keyanni Jackson (Cavalier FC)

Staff -Lenworth Hyde (Head coach), Rodolph Austin (Ass. coach), Andrew Sewell (Goalkeeper coach), Tyrese Palmer (Equipment Manager), Karen Clarke-Lumsden (Manager), Edmund Regis (Team Doctor), Wendell Downswell (Technical Director), Gregory Daley (Head of Delegation)

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