Miguel Coley believes managing talent is Jamaica’s biggest weakness

By May 18, 2020
Miguel Coley Miguel Coley

There has been a long-running argument about what Jamaica can do to help push along its football development with many pundits voicing many different opinions.

One of the most successful schoolboy football coaches in recent history, former Jamaica College head honcho, Miguel Coley sat down with Tanya Lee on ‘Sports Chat’ recently and pointed to another way of looking at that development.

According to Coley, all the arguments about developing fields to generate good habits among young footballers will count for nought if the country does not understand how to manage its talent.

“Management of players is very, very important. We have not lacked talent but what we lack is properly managing our players,” the former Reggae Boyz assistant coach explained.

Coley compared the way other more successful sports in the country, like track and field are treated and believes football should take its cue from them.

“If you look at any other sport, like track and field, for example, that athlete needs management around him, he needs maybe his doctor, a physiotherapist, all different stakeholders that support him. In football, when we have very good players, we don’t have a good management system around them. They are injured, they cannot go to the doctor, they cannot find finances to do this and that,” he said.

Coley, who rose to fame after his Jamaica College units won every title you could think of over the course of seven years, said putting a good management team in place for good young players will engender professional habits and lead to better footballers.

“We have to identify our good young players from early, put a good management team around them and let them start feeling and seeing themselves as being on the doorstep of being a professional player,” he said.

Coley was not ignoring the other issues within football in Jamaica but said he believed development would occur even without them being resolved.

“People will say you need a lot of resources and money, but what we need more of is personnel. We know the problems with our fields, and many countries have issues with fields, so it is no problem sometimes you play on a bad field, and you grow from that level. We definitely need better fields in the country, but I think more than anything else it’s the management,” he said.

Coley, who is assistant coach at United Arab Emirates side Banniyas, also believes that management goes hand in hand with good coaching and wants the coaches in the country to up their level.

“We also have to get our coaches to a level where it is not only about being certified but to have the experience now to take our talents to the next level,” said Coley.

“For our football to improve, or for education on anything to improve, your teachers and coaches have to be at a certain level. You’re not going to be lecturing at the university with a diploma, you need a doctorate or maybe a masters, so that is something that has to improve. And this has nothing to do with our coaches not being good, but they have to be at a certain level to bring that talent because Jamaica has the raw, raw, talent, just bring the coaches to a certain level.”

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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