British-Based Players Expected To Break Into Jamaica Gold Cup Squad
Reid ready to join Reggae Boyz’ revival
Bobby Reid, the Cardiff City striker, is set to receive his international call-up for Jamaica when the Reggae Boyz tackle this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
But before football fans get too excited, Reid gets very little playing time with the Premier League strugglers and has only mustered four goals in 25 appearances for the Welsh club.
Reid, signed from Bristol City for £10m last June is technically minded, can knit together midfield and the strikers although his focus is always to attack. However, he is rarely utilised.
Bristol-born Reid, 26, qualifies for the Boyz through his Jamaican parents, and was one of the players that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) recently singled out.
Last week the JFF sent president Michael Ricketts and head coach Theodore Whitmore on a whistlestop tour of England to talk to those eligible to represent the Boyz.
England-based players, who have expressed an interest in representing Jamaica, are believed to include four who ply their trade in the Championship. These are defensive duo Amari’i Bell (Blackburn United) and Chey Dunkley (Wigan Athletic), midfielder Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) and striker Kemar Roof (Leeds United).
The JFF has not been able to confirm whether they have unearthed any potential superstars, just industrious players who tend to play a bit part at their respective clubs.
Bell has made only 20 appearances in the Championship, and Dunkley has played just twice in England’s second tier.
Yet Kingston-born Johnson and versatile midfielder/striker Roof have been involved in over a hundred Championship games respectively over the past three seasons.
Others who ply their trade in England that could be in the mix for their inaugural Jamaica call-up in the not too distant future include Kingston-born winger Rolando Aarons (Sheffield Wednesday), defender Kyle Bartley (WBA), defender Tyler Blackett (Reading), winger Nathan Dyer (Swansea City), forward Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) and defender Liam Moore (Reading).
The JFF are seeking those in England with Jamaican heritage that could be an asset to the national team, as a number of players have been tempted to earn an international call-up by England but a handful making just one appearance.
The JFF no longer wish to have their targets become ineligible for international duty like this, and was part of the reasoning behind speaking face-to-face about the long-term future with the Boyz for potential players based in the UK.
The Boyz are keen to reach the lucrative 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar, but need to tweak their squad if they aim to go all guns blazing into next month’s Gold Cup.
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