Duckie Under Fire Ahead Of Tackling Pan-Am Games
JFF president wants answers on young Reggae Boyz’ return from Peru
Donovan Duckie set off yesterday as head coach Jamaica’s under-performing U23 squad, who are about to tackle the Pan-Am Games football championship in Lima, Peru.
But under-fire Duckie, whose young Reggae Boyz recently failed to win a Caribbean Olympic Qualifying match, could be axed on his return from South America.
Duckie saw his side stutter to a 1-1 shocking stalemate against minnows Dominica. And in a must-win match repeated the result against eventual Group A table-topping St. Kitts & Nevis at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Kingston last week.
The positive point for Duckie, who boasted a strong squad on paper, was the fact that Charleston Battery striker Nicque Daley scored for the Boyz in each game.
The 18-year-old, who played in Jamaica for Cavalier SC and Clarendon College, signed for the US-based outfit in March and now competes in the USL Championship – North America’s second tier.
But Michael Ricketts, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), is fuming over the inability of the Boyz to progress – especially after the JFF were granted a generous J$3.5m sponsorship by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).
Ricketts is finding it difficult to fathom failure, especially when St. Kitts & Nevis do not even have a professional football league and the pitch quality in Dominica is questionable compared to the ground where the back-to-back Olympic qualifiers were held in the Jamaican capital.
Duckie was swift to defend himself by claiming that the Olympic Games is the toughest football tournament to qualify for.
But Ricketts was obviously not impressed with that excuse and admitted that he did not have time to wield the axe because Duckie was already booked to lead the Boyz to the Pan-Am Games.
However, Ricketts added that the JFF’s technical committee will meet to assess the team’s performance in the Olympic qualifiers once Duckie returns from Peru.
The JFF’s goal is to undertake a full evaluation of the Olympic qualifiers performance on order ro establish why they failed with their so-called talented personnel.
But Duckie at least has a shot at trying to save his job if he can get his troops firing on all cylinders in the Pan-Am Games.
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