Team strikes Oral Tracey is a man of my own order, or almost, or, at least, when he writes in The Gleaner on Tuesdays. I only wish there were more like him, or rather, there were more people who would speak out as he quite often does. As I have been doing for years now, Tracey has been calling for a change in the attitude of the Jamaica Football Federation, or of its president, Horace Burrell, in travelling to England and elsewhere and turning over every stone in order to find a footballer who has a Jamaican connection and who he can convince to come and play for Jamaica. According to Tracey, Burrell is wasting his time, and, again, I congratulate him on saying that. According to Tracey, and me, who believes that he is also wasting the people’s money, Burrell would be better served if he concentrates on building Jamaica’s football and improving Jamaica’s footballers, especially the young footballers. Instead of flying all over the place to tell the foreign-based players about Jamaica, to encourage the foreign-based players to visit Jamaica for a while, a few days at a time, and to represent Jamaica, instead of bringing in these players, paying for their flight “home” and their hotel bills, Burrell could spend a little money, some of Jamaica’s money, on local football, on grounds, etcetera, etcetera. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will the quality of Jamaica’s football, if it is ever to be built at all. Jamaica made it to the World Cup in 1998, however, and Jamaica can make it back again. In around 1993, Burrell turned up at Jamaica House, at a meeting of the National Sports Council, and pleaded for help, for some money, to try and assist Jamaica’s efforts to reach the World Cup finals in 1998. He spoke about the basic skills of young Jamaicans, and about the young footballers’ dream. The meeting turned him down, and he left in disappointment. Prime Minister P. J. Patterson then spoke to the meeting about really considering Burrell’s request. He asked them if they would rob the poor young men of Jamaica of the chance of trying for the World Cup and of fulfilling their dreams. And it is worse to hear that the “team was on strike yesterday over money”, the day before a match. And it is worse, remembering that none of these boys play for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, or Liverpool, and that none of them is Raheem Sterling or Daniel Sturridge. Although Wes Morgan is from Leicester, most of them are from small clubs playing in the lower leagues and would never ever be called to play for England. If, by some miracle, that happens, Burrell would spend his time on his knees pleading in vain for them to come “home” and play. Jamaica is a small country, and we should give opportunities to those who travel while seeking a better life. But their presence on the national team should be limited in numbers, and it should be limited to those who want to play, those who seek to play, and those who are good enough to play. If we follow Tracey’s plea, Jamaica may not make it in 2018, and Jamaica may not even make it 2022 or in 2026. The only hope for Jamaica, however, to make it after that is to offer opportunities to our young, talented local footballers, get them together regularly, play them in the Premier League, and let them express themselves on the way to fulfilling their dreams. On top of it all, Jamaica cannot afford to bring “home” strangers to play “home” matches at the National Stadium, to be in the bargaining room arguing over money when the players should be preparing to play, especially when they are average players treated with kid gloves and are lucky that there is a place like Jamaica, with a body like the JFF, and a president like Burrell. Government assistance The meeting then voted for the government to assist. The government went beyond the call of duty, and the result is history. A group of Jamaicans, including young Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, plus a small set of English-based Jamaicans, Robbie Earle, Paul Hall, Deon Burton, and Fitzroy Sinclair, worked and trained under the guidance of coach RenÈ Simies of Brazil and assistant coach Carl Brown of Jamaica, went to the World Cup, and also beat Japan. That was 1998, and although it is no disgrace, Jamaica have not been back to the World Cup. They, however, recently went to Japan and were easily and comprehensively beaten. What has happened to the Burrell, who in 1993 or thereabouts spoke so emotionally about the young Jamaican footballers? Is this another Burrell? Jamaica’s football has been kept alive, mostly by Red Stripe. The parish leagues have been kept going, mostly by the Captain’s money, but local football itself has been nowhere since 1998. The “national” team, the squad, is made up of almost all foreigners, sometimes with a token local player or two, sometimes they play reasonably well, and sometimes, most times, they play badly. The “national” team, the playing eleven, sometimes has no born and bred Jamaican in it. It is sad to hear commentators, Jamaican commentators, saying that “number 20 plays a pass to number 22”, while describing play, or the newspapers writing that “the Jamaica players arrived yesterday for the home match against El Salvador at the National Stadium”.
ATHLETES from the Corporate Area will be hoping to cement their spots for the finals of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship later this month, when they compete in the Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet at the Usain Bolt/UWI Stadium today, starting at 10 a.m.There will be seven Grand Prix finals. These are the boys’ Class Two discus, boys’ classes One and Two long jump, girls’ classes One and Two high jump, and the boys’ and girls’ Open 4×400 metres. The other Grand Prix events are Class One boys’ discus final, classes One and Two boys’ high jump finals, boys’ 800 metres, girls’ discus, girls’ long jump, girls’ 800 metres, girls’ discus, along with the 200 and 400 metres.Today’s meet will be the penultimate one for athletes in the Corporate Area to book their individual spots for the grand final, which will culminate next Saturday with the G.C. Foster Classics.They will get their final opportunity on Saturday at the Digicel Camperdown Classics inside the National Stadium.Beside seeking top spot in the Grand Prix events, athletes will be hoping to help their schools gain valuable points, as the top teams overall in the male and female categories will walk away with a cash prize of $250,000, and the top two individuals will carry points towards the finals.BATTLE ROYALThe top-three boys’ teams at last year’s ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships – defending champions Calabar High, Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC) – are expected to have another battle royal, while it should also be close among the females, as Corporate Area champions for the past eight years, Wolmer’s Girls, will be severely tested by the likes of a vastly improved Excelsior High, Camperdown High, St Andrew High, Immaculate Conception High, and Convent of Mercy Academy ‘Alpha’, which have all been in terrific form this season.Again, all eyes will be on Calabar High’s Christopher Taylor, who is the leader in the boys’ Under-18 400 metres Grand Prix event. Taylor, despite just going through the motions last Saturday at the Youngster Goldsmith Meet, was still able to clock 47.18 seconds. His teammate, Brandon Heath, who was second overall with 49.66 seconds, will be hoping to maintain that position. Jamaica College’s Romario Mickel and Excelsior High’s Mikel Clarke will also be looking to make an impact.Calabar are also ahead in the Grand Prix Class Two 100 metres, where the outstanding Dejour Russell is the leader in the Under-18 category after winning the event last Saturday in 10.89 seconds. His teammate, Tyreke Wilson, was also under 11 seconds on the day, after finishing second in 10.97. Wolmer’s Boys’ Malik Shepard, who was third in 11.05, and his teammate, Xavier Nairne, who was fourth in 11.07, are also seeking spots among the top two.KC’S JHEVAUGHN MATHERSONKingston College’s Jhevaughn Matherson, who won his heat in 10.69 seconds in Class One, will be hoping for a faster time today to move ahead of Calabar High’s Xavier Angus, who was first overall with 10.66.Among the females, Alpha’s Kiara Grant was the fastest Class Three athlete in the 100 metres among Corporate Area athletes last Saturday, winning in 11.74 seconds to lead the Under-17 section. Wolmer’s Girls’ Kellian Kelly is second overall, after finishing fourth overall in Class Two in 12.05 seconds.
Having a facility of its own to manage and host national camps, plus getting better financial aid would be on top of the wish list of basketball president, Mark Broomfield, when the new Government takes office.Broomfield says if associations, especially basketball, have a facility to call their own, it would greatly improve preparation for international tournaments and enhance programmes to develop local talent.”We want a facility to manage and operate on our own. For any sport, give them (associations) facilities, so they can develop programmes. As it is now, we don’t own any facilities. The minister of sports for the first time gave the national (basketball) team the opportunity to train indoors when we are preparing for international tournaments, so we can use the indoor centre free of cost.”The next step would be to have our own facility, where we have the keys and can have any training programmes and have access to it. We want also a facility that can be managed by the association, so we can have training when preparing for international tournaments, especially the youth programme.”If you have a home, you can have a camp and have access to courts. We have one that is used for netball, we want one for basketball as a home allows us to do things that you are not able to do if you don’t have a camp, and for basketball, we want our own facility,” he reasoned.Broomfield added that financial assistance could also be improved.”One of the improvements I would like to see is greater financial support for the associations, especially basketball. But I would love to see them continue the improvement of sport as it relates to government intervention,” he said.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):West Indies batsmen made a sluggish start to their tour of Sri Lanka on a rain-hit opening day of their three-day tour match here yesterday.Opener Kraigg Brathwaite top-scored with 46 but West Indies struggled to 127 for six against the Sri Lanka Cricket Board President’s XI, on a day when only 46 overs were possible at the Sinhalese Sports Club.Rookie Shai Hope was unbeaten on 24 while Darren Bravo made 21, but opener Rajindra Chandrika (18), Jermaine Blackwood (3), Shane Dowrich (3) and Marlon Samuels (0) all failed.Off-spinner Suraj Randiv was the President’s XI best bowler with three for 33, while seamer Suranga Lakmal supported with two for 10.Rain and a wet outfield forced the abandonment of the morning session and when play finally got under way at 1:45 p.m., West Indies lost Chandrika cheaply with the score on 23, pulling Lakmal to midwicket in the 16th over.The right-hander faced 49 balls and struck three fours.Brathwaite and Bravo then put on 55 for the second wicket to take the Windies to tea at 78 for one.The left-handed Bravo fell to the fourth delivery following the break, however, edging one behind off Randiv without a run added to the interval total.He struck three fours and a six in 32 balls at the crease.Multiple wicketsHis dismissal sparked a collapse where five wickets fell for 35 runs as Randiv and Lakmal ran through the middle order.In the second over after tea, the right-handed Samuels edged the fourth ball he had faced to the keeper off Lakmal, and Blackwood spent 19 balls at the crease before holing out to mid-on off Randiv.The obdurate Brathwaite, who faced 102 balls and counted six fours, perished in the next over lbw to 24-year-old seamer Vishwa Fernando and Dowrich fell six overs before the eventual close to give Ramdiv his third wicket of the day.Though 59 overs had been scheduled, bad light forced a premature end to the day’s play, with Hope and Denesh Ramdin, unbeaten on five, attempting to steady the innings.The right-handed Hope has so far struck three fours in a 35-ball knock.
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1)LLORIS, WALKER, ALDERWEIRELD,VERTONGHEN, DAVIES,DIER, DEMBELE,SON, ERIKSEN, CHADLI,KANEDEENEY, IGHALO,JURADO, WATSON, CAPOUE, ABDI,AKE, BRITOS,CATHCART, NYOM,GOMESWATFORD (4-4-2)Tottenham Hotspur are riding high after winning 3-0 at Norwich City on Tuesday. It was Spurs’ fifth win in a row in all competitions and third in the Barclays Premier League and it rook them to third place, leap-frogging near neighbours Arsenal.The win at Carrow Road meant that they have now gone 11 away games without defeat for the first time since they went 16 without lost away in 1985.And Spurs have an impressive scoring rate with 44 goals; only Manchester City, with 46, have more. And 22 of those have come at home, where they have won six and drawn four of their 12 games.Watford have won four and drawn three of their 13 away games but when these teams met at Vicarage Road in last December Spurs won 2-1 with goals from Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son, a result helped by the fact that Watford were reduced to 10 men with the score at 1-1 after Nathan Ake was dismissed.In all competitions, Spurs are unbeaten in eight games home and away against Watford, while the Hornets have lost both Premier League visits, conceding seven goals in the process (3-1 and 4-0).And Watford have lost on their last five league visits to White Hart Lane, conceding 15 goals. Their last league win there was nearly 31 years ago, in May 1985, when they thrashed Spurs 5-1.At Norwich, Spurs forward Dele Alli’s goal was the fourth quickest in the Premier League this season (1 min 36 secs) and Tottenham’s quickest in the Premier League since Boxing Day 2014 (Harry Kane vs Leicester, 57 seconds).Kane added two goals at Norwich but Alli undergoes a test after being withdrawn at half time with illness.
LONDON (AP):The footballing divide in Manchester is becoming clearer a month into the season.On the blue side, Pep Guardiola is thriving at the start of his Manchester City career with five wins out of five in the Premier League.On the red side, Jose Mourinho is discovering the toils David Moyes and Louis van Gaal endured trying to live up to Alex Ferguson’s high achievements during his 26-year reign.After opening the campaign with three successive wins, the record 20-time English champions have now lost three games in around a week.A 3-1 loss at Watford yesterday – ending a 30-year unbeaten run against the club based north of London – followed a losing start to the Europa League on Thursday at Feyenoord in the Netherlands. The miserable sequence started last Saturday by losing the first Manchester derby of the season to Guardiola’s City.”I feel that some individuals probably feel the pressure and responsibility too much,” Mourinho said at Vicarage Road.”We started the season very well with (winning) the Community Shield and three victories in a row in the Premier League, the best start that a new manager has had at Manchester United I think.”But was I thinking that my team was ready, perfect, unbeatable? Not at all. I was completely aware that we were not perfect, with lots of players who are not end products and can make their own mistakes.”Although 18-year-old Marcus Rashford marked his first start of the season for Mourinho by cancelling out Etienne Capoue’s opener, Watford surged back in front in the 83rd minute at Vicarage Road. Substitute Camilo Zuniga scored within a minute of coming off the bench and Troy Deeney netted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.It’s only five games into the Premier League season but United are already six points behind the leaders – Guardiola’s City.”We have to improve, no doubt, individually and collectively,” Mourinho said. “And that’s my job.”If not, United could be missing out on the top-four again and face another season out of the Champions League. But there’s a long way to go in the season.Here is a look at yesterday’s other games:TOTTENHAM 1, SUNDERLAND 0Moyes is trying to revive a reputation tarnished by his time at United at a club renowned for its struggle to stay in the Premier League. Five games into the season and Sunderland only have one point after this fourth loss.It was a mixed day for Tottenham. Harry Kane scored in consecutive league games for the first time since March by tapping into Sunderland’s goal in the second half. But the league’s top scorer in the last campaign was stretchered off toward the end of the fixture at White Hart Lane with an ankle injury.Kane left the stadium on crutches and Tottenham is waiting to discover the extent of the injury after scans today.CRYSTAL PALACE 4, STOKE 1Like Sunderland, Stoke have only a solitary point after being condemned to a fourth straight league loss on a trip to south London.Stoke collapsed inside 11 minutes at Selhurst Park, with goals from James Tomkins and Scott Dann seizing control of the game. Another goal burst came in the second half when James McArthur and Andros Townsend netted inside four minutes, while Marko Arnautovic got Stoke’s only goal, in stoppage time.SOUTHAMPTON 1, SWANSEA 0Claude Puel’s wait for a win as Southampton manager is over, thanks to Charlie Austin’s goal. The substitute striker also got the south-coast club’s Europa League campaign off to a bright start on Thursday by netting twice against Sparta Prague.Southampton have five points from five Premier League games, while Swansea are a point behind.
LONDON (CMC): Axed West Indies head coach Phil Simmons could be contemplating legal action against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over his abrupt firing last week. Reports in international media said the 53-year-old Trinidadian was expected to meet with his legal team in coming days to discuss the matter and would then decide on a course of action. “Phil is currently in the UK and is supposed to meet his lawyers within the next 72 hours,” a confidante of Simmons, who requested anonymity, was quoted as saying. “His next course of action would be influenced by the advice they give.” Simmons’ sacking was announced by the WICB last Tuesday as the West Indies team prepared to leave Barbados for Dubai to begin their Twenty20 and one-day series against Pakistan. The move followed weeks of speculation about Simmons’ future, and WICB President Dave Cameron had sidestepped the controversial issue following the board of directors’ meeting in Dominica last week. In a cryptic release three days later, however, the WICB said it had taken the decision to relieve Simmons of his duties at the Dominica meeting. “In recent times, based on the public pronouncements of the coach and the approach internally, we have identified differences in culture and strategic approach,” the WICB release said. Simmons took up the position in March last year after taking Ireland to the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. He was suspended seven months later over controversial comments regarding team selection for the tour of Sri Lanka, but was reinstated following the series, after issuing a public apology. Simmons oversaw West Indies’ capture of their second Twenty20 World Cup title in India last April and then helped guide them into the final of the Tri-Nations Series in the Caribbean last June.
One of the highlights of this year’s event will be the participation of the 2016 winners of the Tottori Prefecture Marathon, in Japan, as part of a twinning agreement between the Westmoreland Parish Council and its counterpart in Japan, the Tottori Prefeture. Leading up to the December event in Negril, a Burger King-sponsored ‘Run Di Road’ 10K Race Day will be held on Sunday, November 6, starting from the Burger King store at the Portmore Mall, beginning 7 a.m. Participants will be allowed to run or walk the race. In addition, the popular 4x1500m relay for students will also be opened to tertiary institutions and members of running clubs. Participants in ‘Run Di Road’ 10K Race Day can register at runningeventsja.com or pick up registration forms at Burger King’s head office, 18 Hope Road, as well as the Burger King stores at Portmore Mall and Braeton. “We are very proud of the fact that we will, again, be using hi-tech scoring systems for the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K,” Francis said. Scoring for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K will be provided by MYLAPS Bib Tag timing system, with live on-line tracking of runners along the course available on www.reggaemarathon.com and interim results posted during the race. There will be over US$10,000 in total prize money this year, together with finisher certificates, as well as Bob Marley and Rita Marley trophies to the male and female winners of the Reggae Marathon. In addition, there will be a special prize category for high school boys and girls in the 10K and special prize categories for teams in the Half Marathon and 10K. Last year, no local prize winner broke the Reggae Marathon course records in any of the three events, so this year the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston will continue to offer a special prize purse to any local who will break any of these course records. Major sponsors of the 2016 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K are: Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston; PUMA Running; Jamaica Tourist Board; Couples Resorts Jamaica; JHTA – Negril Chapter and Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association. TWINNING AGREEMENT The 16th staging of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K will be held from December 1-3 in Negril. The run-off will begin on the IAAF-certified course at the Long Bay Beach Park, located along Negril’s famed seven-mile beach, then loop into the town of Negril, before heading north towards the town of Green Island. The main event will start at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 3, and the course will remain open for six hours. New for 2016 will be that marathoners must reach the half-way mark in three hours to stay in the event. “We are expecting a minimum of 2,500 participants from more than the 35 countries which participated last year,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K event. Francis said a number of groups and individuals have already registered their attendance. In fact, he said, one participant has timed his honeymoon in Jamaica to coincide with his participation in the sport event.
MIDWEEK racing resumes at Caymanas Park today with a well supported 10-race programme featuring the Alty McKenzie Memorial Cup over a mile (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) and the overnight allowance sprint over 1100 metres. Post time is 12.30 p.m. and 10 races are scheduled. The Alty McKenzie Memorial has attracted eight starters and the three that matter are JESSIE JAMES, COMPUTERIZE and BIGBROWNGREYHOPE. All three are ideally suited to a mile and should ensure a close contest, but strictly at the weights, the Marlon Anderson-trained BIGBROWNGREYHOPE the most appealing in the hands of champion apprentice Linton Steadman with only 53.0kg. True, he broke down and did not finish when highly fancied some months ago, but stepping down in class and now under the care of a shrewd trainer, gets the nod over COMPUTERIZE under leading jockey Omar Walker and the stretch-running JESSIE JAMES, the mount of top apprentice Bebeto Harvey. The overnight allowance sprint also has eight starters and should see Walker aboard DREAMLINER turning the tables on Steadman, who rides ROYAL ASSAULT. Both are proven speed horses who ran well last time out and I expect them to turn for home clear of he well-trained UNCLE TAF. Victory, however, should go to the Wayne DaCosta-trained three-year-old colt DREAMLINER, who should prove that much stronger than the four-year-old colt ROYAL ASSAULT in the last furlong. Other firm fancies on the card are SCAR to go one better in the second race over a mile, DUSSELDORF in the fifth, REIGN OVER ALL in the seventh and BIG AL in the eighth.
THE grey SOTOMAYOR floored the odds on the previously unbeaten filly SHE’S A MANEATER to win the 105th running of the Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile – the final leg of the Supreme Ventures Triple Crown series for native bred two-year-olds, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Installed as 3-1 second favourite after finishing second to SHE’S A MANEATER in race two of the series, the Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres on November 26, SOTOMAYOR, with Linton Steadman riding for trainer Anthony “Baba” Nunes, ran on strongly in mid-stretch to catch and beat 1-5 favourite SHE’S A MANEATER under leading jockey Omar Walker by a length in a field of 11.This prevented the Wayne DaCosta-trained SHE’S A MANEATER from becoming only the second two-year-old to sweep the three-race series, a feat accomplished by the unbeaten PRINCESS POPSTAR in 2013.SOTOMAYOR was held off the early pace in fifth as the DaCosta-trained MR. UNIVERSE (31-1) led comfortably from MONEY MAGNET (7-1) and SHE’S A MANEATER chasing as a team passing the half mile.MR. UNIVERSE, with Orlando Foster aboard, turned for home two lengths clear of SHE’S A MANEATER on the outside and MONEY MAGNET on the inside, but by then SOTOMAYOR had moved within striking distance on the outside.DECISIVE WINUnder a torrid right hand stick from Steadman, SOTOMAYOR caught up with the new leader SHE’S A MANEATER midway the last furlong, gaining the ascendancy in the closing stages for a decisive win.MONEY MAGNET under top apprentice Bebeto Harvey finished another five lengths away third, with MR UNIVERSE in fourth.Nunes was perhaps the happiest man at Caymanas Park, with SOTOMAYOR having defied the odds by turning the tables on his old rival.”I am elated, but I knew that Sotomayor was improving at a rapid rate and having worked impressively and the cheek pieces fitted for this race, felt he had a good chance of winning now stepping up to a mile.”The plan was to have him earlier in the pace and he was never far off entering the straight. I knew then that his turn of foot would prove decisive late in the race and looking ahead, is one for the classics in 2017,” said Nunes, who despite failing to beat DaCosta for the trainers’ title, enjoyed a marvellous season.This included previous big race wins in the derby (ORPHEUS), St. Leger, Lotto Classic and Superstakes with BIGDADDYKOOL.SOTOMAYOR is a grey colt by Traditional out of Runaway Julie, co-owned by David Miller and the Trinidadian Stephan Narinesingh and bred by HAM Stables Limited. This was his second win from five starts.Claiming apprentice Anthony Thomas highlighted the Boxing Day card with three winners, including the free-running SMART BIDDER at 25-1 for trainer Albert Chong in the closing race for $180,000 claimers.Back to form jockey Prince “Daggerman’ Holder rode two winners,while Walker, who is set to be crowned champion jockey, won the third race aboard 1-5 favourite CHO CHOO BLUE for trainer Peter McMaster following a tremendous stretch duel with highly-fancied GARY GLITTER.