Newly appointed Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes his first order of business is to develop a national philosophy on how Jamaican wants to play football.

The Jamaica Football Federation has expressed sorrow at news of the passing of former national player Chris Zaidie who died on Sunday after a prolonged battle with lung cancer.

 The 55-year-old Zaidie played briefly for Jamaica between 1992 and 1993 but excelled at St George’s College High School where as a player he won the coveted ‘triple’ in 1983 and 1984. The triple comprised the Manning Cup, Walker Cup and the Olivier Shield.

 “The JFF joins the local football fraternity in mourning the passing of former national player Christopher Ziadie, who died peacefully in the United States on Sunday,” the JFF said in a statement Monday.

 “Christopher was an individual who cherished the game and gave many years to its development whether as a player or administrator in another instance.

 “He wore his emotions on his sleeves and was not afraid to stand up for his teammates in any situation. Chris played with distinction for various clubs and institutions both locally and internationally, but was most proud and honoured to play for Jamaica.

 “We know that his passing will not only leave a void in our lives but in the hearts of all those who knew him. The President of the JFF, Michael Ricketts, conveys sincerest condolences to his family and close friends, especially at St Georges College where his exploits were first recognized.

May his soul rest in peace.”

Zaidie represented Kingston Lions and Boys Town FC locally. He also coached Jamaica’s U20 team in 1999 as well as at Jamaica Premier League team Waterhouse FC.

He leaves behind two children.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has come out in support of national player Damion Lowe, who was the alleged victim of racial abuse during a Major League Soccer match between Inter Miami and DC United on Sunday.

The MLS is investigating the incident.

“The JFF strongly condemns and abhors racism in any form whether on or off the field and we stand ready to give whatever support is necessary to Damion,” said the JFF in a statement on Monday.

 The incident involved D.C. United forward Taxi Fountas, who it is alleged used a racial slur while addressing the Reggae Boyz defender.

According to reports, the game came to halt for several minutes after Fountas and Lowe exchanged words in the 59th minute. Both players were issued yellow cards. D.C. After the game resumed, DC United coach Wayne Rooney substituted Fountas in the 66th minute.

 In a statement, MLS said that it has “zero tolerance for abusive and offensive behaviour and (they) take these allegations very seriously.” An investigation will begin “promptly.”

D.C. United issued its own statement, saying that the club is “aware of the allegations involving a player during the match against Inter Miami CF” and “will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.”

 In July, SWNT player Trudi Carter was the target of racist taunts coming from a section of the crowd in Mexico at the Concacaf W tournament.

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.”

 

 

 

 

Driven by an over-arching ambition to build the best high school football programme in Jamaica, Hydel High School has begun the process by hiring Devon Anderson. 

Anderson, who coached Holy Trinity High to the 2014 Flow Cup Finals and the 2014 and 2016 Manning Cup semi-finals, confirmed his position as the new head coach of Hydel High School on Monday.

 “I am elated to be part of this Hydel Group. I am optimistic and raring to go as far as the coming season is confirmed,” he told Sportsmax. TV.

“The management team is putting together the players. They call me the builder and once they give me the raw material I will start building the programme.”

 Among the players who have developed under Anderson’s guidance are Phillon Lawrence and Nicholas Hamilton, who play for newly crowned Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC, Tevin Rochester, who suits up for the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Waterhouse FC forward Andre Leslie and Portmore United’s Shai Smith.

 In further confirming Anderson’s appointment Hydel High board member Trevin Nairne revealed that the school has big plans for the future and it all starts with the man, who coached at Trinity High for more than two decades.

 “The management board of the Hydel Group of Schools is determined to continue our development of the island's premier student-athletes via the establishment of one of Jamaica's leading football programmes,” Nairne said. 

 “It is our intention to build a comprehensive system from the U14 through the U17 culminating at the U19 - Manning Cup level. We intend to build a programme that serves our students by helping them matriculate into tertiary institutions locally and overseas and where possible into the professional ranks.”

Nairne, who was once the General Manager at Jamaica Premier League outfit Portmore United, explained why Anderson is the best man for the job.

“The committee considers Devon Anderson as one of the brightest football minds around and one who has a true passion for developing and moulding youngsters into the better versions of themselves,” he said.

 “His work ethic is second to none and the work he did with Holy Trinity often goes unheralded. We believe with the correct structure and support Devon will have the opportunity to develop a strong football culture that wins.”

There haven’t been many wins for Hydel in Jamaican schoolboy football but over the past decade, they have shown glimpses of what is possible under a structured programme.

 Hydel lost to the many-time champions St George’s College in 2012. Six years later, they won the 2018 Walker Cup title, the pinnacle of the school’s football achievements.

 However, as the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day', so Nairne expects the building process guided by a fundamental philosophy that is paramount to any goal is the holistic development of the players.

 “We have a philosophy of the Head, Heart and Hands. To provide an integrated education of the head, heart and hands as the means by which to graduate responsible student-athletes with the knowledge, experience, character and passion to improve the communities in which they live, work and serve,” he explained.

 “We respect what other institutions have done but we are not aiming to replicate what others have done. We have a unique philosophy which will take some time to harness but you will see glimpses of it taking shape from day one.

 “We don't know how some institutions judge success but we aim to develop a system that wins while creating strong student-athletes who go to college or go pro.

Those who pass through the Hydel programme will be productive members of our society.”

The Hydel vision also means that while not ruling out recruiting players, the school will use the available talent from their existing student population, preparing them to transition through high school and into the collegiate system in Jamaica and overseas.

“I wouldn't necessarily point to any one feeder institution per se. Hydel Prep is the easiest to consider the feeder for obvious reasons,” Nairne reasoned. 

 “Hydel already has numerous connections to tertiary institutions in North America and we will look to strengthen these connections as well as add a few others over time.”

 As for the coming season, Nairne believes that under the guidance of Anderson, Hydel will be competitive with the aim of improving each year going forward.

 “We hope to have a disciplined and competitive team this first season with realistic ambitions. Remember that greatness can't be rushed. We will be patient with the system and the persons within,” he said.

 “Our plan is to further develop the culture of this excellent institution.”

Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of companies) currently in her seventh year as Global Ambassador for the Jamaica Women’s Football Programme, is now expanding her advocacy and commitment to the women’s game.

Her new Football is Freedom Initiative will provide tools and resources for the development and growth of women’s football throughout the Caribbean and Latin America as well as diaspora communities in the United States.

“In the process of my role as ambassador, I have taken note of the crucial role that football can play in empowering young women; through opportunities for education and professional advancement - both on and off the pitch,” Marley said.

“Through the Football is Freedom Initiative we can expand our efforts to other countries in the region and eventually beyond.”

The core mission of FIF is to support the development of women’s football at the grass-roots level in the region by funding existing programs and academies in the islands and in diaspora communities in Canada and the United States, supporting the growth and development of national teams by staging an annual exhibition match and mini-tournament to provide a quality training experience and raise funds that will go directly into the women’s programs of the participating federations as well as invest in the holistic wellness of the players by funding scholarships and programs that assist players with skill sets and tools to help them succeed outside of football once that time comes.

The launch of Football Is Freedom centres around an international friendly fundraising match between the national women’s teams of Jamaica and Costa Rica. In addition to helping fund the new initiative, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to each national team.

Marley is particularly pleased that Costa Rica will join Jamaica on the pitch at DRV PNK Stadium.

“In 2014, I was honoured to attend the FIFA U-17 WWC finals in Costa Rica (as the guest of the late Capt. Horace Burrell). The Costa Rican federation's investment in women's football has helped to inspire my own ideas about the impact that the women’s game could have once given the proper support. Having two of our strongest female teams come together like this is a chance to demonstrate the potential depth and power of women’s football in this region,” she said.

The Reggae Girlz and Las Sele both arrive in South Florida on October 18 for a week of training and a two-game series. In adherence to FIFA- mandated COVID protocols, the delegations will be housed in protective isolation during the camp. The first match will be a closed-door scrimmage, and the finale will be a fundraising match open to the public. The camp is the result of a combined effort by the Bob Marley Foundation, Rita Marley Foundation, and Reggae Girlz Foundation.

The match is being presented by Cedella Marley in association with Black Tower Agency.

Costa Rican and Jamaican Federations expressed the importance of the upcoming camp and the initiative itself to women’s football in the region.

“For the Costa Rican Football Federation it is a true pleasure to be able to participate in the first edition of the "Football is freedom" Festival. From a sporting perspective, the fact that our female players can compete with a team of such high calibre as the Jamaican team is immensely important,” said Gustavo Araya, FEDEFUTBOL General Secretary.

“And of course, getting the chance to participate in the beginnings of what this foundation is going to do makes us proud. The first edition of this festival, set to be held in Florida, will be of utmost importance for our players as they look ahead to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. We will also use this opportunity to show how a foundation like this can impact young girls and get them excited about sports.”

Meanwhile, JFF President Michael Ricketts commended Marley for the initiative that he said will prove to be invaluable.

“I would like to wholeheartedly commend and congratulate our Reggae Girlz Ambassador Cedella Marley and her team. “Football is Freedom” can only help to broaden the interest and quicken the expansion of women’s football in Jamaica and the wider region,” he said.

“We are particularly proud that the initiative is being launched around a camp and an international Friendly game involving the Reggae Girlz. This will serve as invaluable preparation for their World Cup Qualifiers which begin in November. The Jamaica Football Federation stands ready to offer whatever assistance necessary to ensure the success of this venture and we look forward to participating vibrantly going forward.

“On behalf of every aspiring female footballer throughout Jamaica, I wish this progressive vision every

success.”

In addition to the main event, Sunday’s festivities will include a pre-game kickoff party and fan zone experience with games, entertainment, and food trucks as well as a community marketplace showcasing small businesses and organizations from the South Florida diaspora communities.

There is also a musical halftime performance.

The event will also be sponsored by Visit Fort Lauderdale, KICS International, Bob Marley Foundation, and Riddims Marketing.

Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster beginning October 6th. For information about group ticket purchases please contact the production office directly via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For vendor/food truck information please contact Riddims Marketing (954) 251-1643.

Further details about the event and the initiative are available in the Football Is Freedom app which

can be downloaded in the Google Play and I Tunes stores October 6th

.

Mount Pleasant manager David Galloway has picked the trio of Prince Christie, Ricardo Gaynor, and Kevin Wilson to stun the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) this season.

In an interview with SportsMax.tv, Galloway lauded the talent that has progressed from the academy and believes the young players are going to be brilliant and surprise many in our local sporting arena.

Galloway insists Mount Pleasant is currently enjoying their football in training, and the passion and quality of play he is seeing should put his team in the top two come the end of the season.

The Saint Ann-based will not be threatened or intimidated by any opponent in the league. However, Galloway also said that his players and technical team are not complacent and are taking every opponent seriously.

"Football is a highly competitive sport, doesn't matter who you play against it's the day that counts, and at the end of the day it is the score that counts. You can go out there with your best team and still not come out on top. We try our best to just stay focused, maintain that discipline and we try to prepare players mentally and physically to get them out there and do the job and finish according to our dream plan."

He admitted that the ending prematurely last season was a disappointment.  The team was fourth and he believes their in-form squad would have been serious title contenders.

Since Mount Pleasant has resumed training, players are showing signs of 'top form' once again and Gallaway says he is thankful and elated for the team's consistency. 

Mount Pleasant's first bridge to cross is against five-time champions Tivoli Gardens FC on Sunday, at 8:30 am at the University of the West Indies Bowl, Mona campus.

Leon Bailey and Michail Antonio will not be available for the Reggae Boyz matches against Japan and Serbia that have been scheduled for June as Jamaica’s senior squad continues its preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers in September.

Five Jamaican referees have been selected to officiate at the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup starting July 10 in the United States.

Reggae Boyz manager Roy Simpson is to meet with representatives with midfielder Ravel Morrison after the player’s recent departure from Dutch club ADO Den Haag by mutual consent.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.