Delays over visas for African giants results in Jamaica clash being cancelled in Austria-based tournament
Merron Gordon’s proposed maiden match as interim head coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz ended in the contest being cancelled, as opponents Ghana were unable to arrive in time for yesterday’s clash.
Gordon, who has stepped up from assistant to England-based Paul Hall who is unavailable, has a tough task as he has primarily been given local players from the Caribbean island to tackle FIFA World Cup-bound Morocco and Qatar.
The heavily-depleted Boyz, who appear to be making up the numbers for the Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna, are set to face Morocco (23 August) and Qatar (26 August).
Ghana were unable to secure visas in time to travel to Europe as planned, and proposed for the game to take place today (22 August).
But Gordon, who is being assisted by Vassell Reynolds, rejected Ghana’s suggestion.
The former Reggae Girlz head coach explained: “We really wanted to play, but sometimes we get some setbacks that we can go back and work out.
“At least we have time to get the Boyz prepared and we will have a few players coming in late, so by then they should be ready for the Morocco game.
“With us not playing, it will give us a bit of time to prepare and get the Boyz going, and kind of acclimatise to the area in terms of the time zones.
“People are still sleeping when they should be up, and it’s kind of being a bother for the Boyz – especially for the ones who are not really exposed to international football.
“But they are in good spirits and working hard. I think that they are going to give their best shot [in the tournament].”
Gordon, who managed the Girlz for three games in 2019 with an unbeaten record, has back-to-back games at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, renamed in honour of Austrian footballer Ernst Happel following his death in 1992. It is the largest stadium in Austria with a capacity of 50,865.
Morocco (ranked no.22) became the first-ever African nation to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup finals back in 1986. They are the second-highest team in the region behind Senegal, with the Atlas Lions appearing to be formidable opposition for Jamaica.
Qatar (ranked no.49) remain in a training camp in Austria ahead of friendlies against European clubs. They will then participate in the Austria Mini Football Tournament and as they have spent so much time together then their team understanding could be spot on.
Goalkeepers | Eric Edwards (Arnett Gardens), Kemar Foster (Waterhouse FC), Amal Knight (Harbour View), Dennis Taylor (Humble Lion)
Defenders | Ky-Mani Campbell (Waterhouse FC), Nickoy Christian (Dunbeholden), Alwayne Harvey (Mount Pleasant), Maliek Howell (University of Memphis, USA), Richard King (Cavalier), Earl Simpson (Arnett Gardens), Ricardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC)
Midfielders | Jahshaun Anilin (Harbour View), Ramone Howell (Waterhouse FC), Fabion McCarthy (Dunbeholden), Odane Pennycooke (Tivoli Gardens), Demario Phillips (Dunbeholden), Trayvone Reid (Harbour View), Tarick Ximines (Mount Pleasant)
Strikers | Dwayne Atkinson (Cavalier FC), Jourdaine Fletcher (Gokulam Kerala, India), Colorado Murray (Harbour View), Denardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC), Ronaldo Webster (Cavalier FC)
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