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WINFRIED SCHAEFER, the former head coach of Jamaica’s senior men’s soccer team, says more time needs to be devoted to developing local talent if the country is to improve its chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

Jamaica’s senior men’s football team have only qualified once for the FIFA World Cup finals in France 1998 and Schaefer, a German national who served as the head coach of the Reggae Boyz from 2013 to 2016, believes that Jamaican football governors need to invest more work in the players here to strengthen its agenda.

“The local players need more training with the head coach and the staff. You have to create a training center and the coaches… have to work more with the players, ”Schaefer said in a telephone interview from Qatar, where he has been based since his separation from the Jamaican team.

“The head coach is not just the game coach, every month you have to work with the local players,” he reiterated.

Ultimately, Schaefer said the goal and ambition must be to improve local players to secure professional contracts, which would then propel Jamaica to the level of World Cup competition.

“It is very important for the national team, for the players (to) play away from the country in countries with a stronger league. It gives the player more confidence when he is in the national team. Schaefer said.

The German, now 71, has extensive experience as a player and coach. As a coach he led Karlsruhe, which at the time was not a big club, to the UEFA Cup. Then they had Oliver Kahn, one of the world’s best-known goalkeepers, who went on to represent Germany. As a player, Schaefer, who according to wikipedia recorded 438 Bundesliga appearances and 62 goals, won the German League and the UEFA Cup as a midfielder with Borussia Mönchengladbach, among other accolades.

SCHAEFER’S SUCCESSES

For example, Schaefer referred to his work in Jamaica which led to international transfers and recounted the impact these players are now having on the national team.

During his time as a coach in Jamaica, Schaefer had also hand-selected successful Jamaica College Manning Cup coach Miguel Coley as an assistant, citing him as an understudy for the Reggae coaching position. Boyz.

“In our time and after our time, two years later, many, many players on our team have been to the United States, Belgium and other countries. We did a new performance for the players, ”he said.

“Look at Taxi (Kemar Lawrence), the left defender, I saw him at Harbor View and told him you were coming to see us and we did a practice for him. After he goes to New York, he goes to Belgium. Afterwards, three players go to MLS, other players go to Belgium, ”he said. “We took a long time to train.

Additionally, the German said he offered to select Jamaica’s top young players, under 15 and under 18, and then paired players from two parishes each to form seven teams in total. in each division and play a tournament.

“We wanted in Jamaica all regions to be two teams and not (just) the city, and the seven to form a tournament, then you can see all (the) players in Jamaica. I told the president that you have to work with the local players first and organize a tournament and you can see all the good local players in Jamaica, ”he noted. “It was the situation and it was better. Then you could tell that player to come to practice. It would be better, so we will have control over all the players in Jamaica.

Among his notable accomplishments was the Caribbean Cup victory, leading a Jamaican side to their first-ever victory against the United States at home, a victory that catapulted the Reggae Boyz to the Concacaf Gold Cup final.

“We beat the [United] United States and we were in the final. It was not a question of luck, we work, we work, work, football is hard work, “he said.

Schaefer was removed from his post as head coach of Jamaica’s senior men’s soccer team by Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) President Captain Horace Burrell after an altercation with media staff at Norman Manley International Airport, as the team returned from an away game in Panama in qualifying for the 2018 Russian World Cup. Then the team’s chances were virtually gone and he was replaced. by current Head Coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore.

Ironically, the team face an equally difficult situation in qualifying and there has been speculation about Whitmore’s job.

Schaefer has said that he, along with Coley, has been watching the team, but due to his professionalism and respect for Whitmore, he won’t say much about coaching at this time.

“I don’t want to talk about Tappa, I just want to tell you what Jamaica has to do for the future,” Schaefer said.

“I am a straight person. I am right, I do not come from behind, I come straight each time, ”he reinforced, referring to his integrity.

When specifically asked if he would be interested in returning to work, he continued. “Tappa is the coach. I don’t want to say yes to you when this team has a coach.

Continuing, he said: “Motivation is very, very important for the players in Jamaica.

“Jamaica has a great sun, great food, but the players have to want to go to England, they have to want to go to the United States, they have to want to take this trip, that’s what the players need to know and the coaches need to know must help the players, ”he noted.

“These coaches have the time. What do they do? They have to go to the training ground three days a week. National team coaches have to work, work, work, ”Schaefer said.

“Not just in Jamaica. In the Caribbean, the team coach needs to do more training with local players.

audley.boyd@gleanerjm.com


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