Saracchi arrived in Istanbul today, signed the contract and visited the museum Galatasaray, already dressed in the rojiamarilla shirt, in which he wears The number 36.The side, which has been called four times for the selection Uruguayan, He matches in the club with his compatriot Fernando Muslera, the already mythical Uruguayan goalkeeper who defends since 2011 the colors of Galatasaray The Galatasaray, one of the most successful clubs from Turkey, has announced Monday the arrival as given from the side Uruguayan left Marcelo Saracchi, 21 years old and currently under contract in the Leipzig German.The German club will yield Saracci to Galatasaray under loan format for the remainder of this season and 2020-2021, in exchange for a net payment of 500,000 euros, says a statement made public this late on the website of the Turkish club.The young player, who has served on the Danube FC and the River Plate before moving, in summer 2018, to Leipzig, rwill 700,000 euros for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season and another 1,350,000 for the 2020-2021 season, clarifies the statement. Turkish League* Data updated as of January 6, 2020
This Friday, after his morning coaching, Nadal needed to satisfy the girl and went to visit her at the Melbourne Park services. I needed to verify I used to be superb and be along with her for some time. His identify is Anita, he’s from the metropolis and was accompanied at the moment by his mother and father and his brother.Rafa gave him a cap from his Academy signed by him and with a dedication (“For my good friend Anita, all the finest”) and shared along with her some anecdotes earlier than saying goodbye and turn into a self portrait along with her, the different protagonist of a gesture that everybody has celebrated. The girl confessed that the world primary was her favourite tennis participant and that she “bought excited” by her “kindness” and the particulars that weren’t anticipated “in abosolute”. The human high quality of Rafa Nadal is well-known, praised by everybody in the circuit above even his tennis capability. In his second spherical match of the Australian Open in opposition to Federico Delbonis, the Balearic unintentionally kicked a ball boy by subtracting a serve from the Argentine. Frightened by what may occur, she was instantly fascinated with the girl, who informed her she was superb. Then he kissed her whereas she held again the tears with a fortitude that primary praised later: “It was a phenomena.”
In the dressing room of FC Barcelona do not win for scares. With such a short squad – 16 players available from the first team – any eventuality is received as a real cold water jug. And even more so if this eventuality is not for a justified cause or for a training incident, already worrying enough, but for an activity outside the club’s premises.The first to skip all the protocols and internal codes was Arthur Melo. The Brazilian did not think of anything other than playing against Atlético de Madrid (0-1) in Wanda on December 1, going to celebrate Andorra’s victory, accompanied by his compatriot, goalkeeper Neto. So far nothing criticizable. The problem is that the Brazilian midfielder took advantage of his visit to the Andorran country to enjoy his ski resorts practicing ‘snowboarding’. A totally prohibited activity for a soccer player, and even more if you have a history of pubic injury. In fact, a few days later, the player had to stop because of a galloping pubalgia. Obviously you can’t just point out the practice of ‘snowboarding’ with the injury, but it certainly didn’t help to remedy it either. When Ernesto Valverde learned of this getaway, through TV3, he mounted in anger, especially since it was not the first time that the player had skipped the discipline of the club: the previous year he had traveled to Paris without permission to enjoy the birthday party organized by Neymar when there were only two days left to play a Real Madrid-Barcelona Cup. But after Arthur’s incident it seems that not all players have learned the lesson. And it is that a few weeks ago the Junior Firpo defense was presented with the inflamed left hand and with significant erosions and abrasions. The surprise of the technicians, in this case Quique Setién and his second, Eder Sarabia, was enormous, especially since few days after Jordi Alba’s injury to Getafe, Junior was presented as the only alternative on the left wing. When asked how he had done it, the player was forced to acknowledge that it was during a go-kart race, an activity that although it is not strictly prohibited, its practice is limited to the summer season.Fortunately, everything remained in a mere anecdote, since Junior Firpo could play against Eibar and Naples without major problem, although he did wearing a spectacular bandage on his left hand.
Next week there will be a date, depending on the progress of the coronavirus in Spain. The only sure thing is that the headquarters of the Olympic Stadium in Seville is maintained. There are several alternative dates, the most likely would be Saturday, May 30, one week after the end of the League championship. For this, it would be necessary to move an Extremoduro concert scheduled for that day at the Villamarín Olympic Stadium, a matter for which the Junta de Andalucía and the Federation are collaborating.There is no definitive date, but it is believed that it could be played in late May, Saturday the 30th, a week after the League ended. But as long as the advance of the coronavirus does not prevent it and the Government does not lift the measures adopted yesterday after the Council of Ministers. The Copa del Rey final will no longer be played on April 18. It is postponed. It is the decision taken by the president of the Federation after meeting with the presidents of the Royal Society and Athletic Bilbao. All parties agree that it is a match that cannot be played behind closed doors and that it is a party for the fans.
The Premier, like LaLiga, intends to end its competition this season despite the coronavirus pandemic. In this sense, the plans are to play, when possible, the remainder of the competition behind closed doors, if there is no other possibility. The English Federation works on a security protocol for when the time comes, but footballers have many doubts. The first of these is physical. If the season has to be ended by playing several games per week, there is the added risk of injury more frequently due to the break that will not allow completing a previous work phase. “Many can end up in the infirmary if we have to play every other day,” says De Bruyne, the City star. The players press and, according to the Mirror, they have put on the table requests if there is a lightning season finale to play. One would be to accept five substitutions per game to dose that overstrain due to tight dates and multiple games per week. It has been transferred to the Association of Premier Managers, who will present it to the managers of the competition tomorrow at a meeting. Another proposal is to cancel the use of the VAR, in this case to respect the distancing rules that would be dictated by the security protocol that is drawn up, starting with the people who gather in the control room.
Sevilla will appreciate it. Did you expect such a quick adaptation to LaLiga?Yes, why not? Sevilla are a well-known team in Brazil, my compatriots like Luis Fabiano, Alves, Renato, Baptista, Adriano have triumphed here … They come to win and I always want to win. LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of April 4, 2020 Have you been surprised by anything from the club, from the city?Well, I didn’t think that in Seville people were so nice and friendly, like a family. The people of Seville seem Brazilian in many ways and thus it is easy for anyone in my country to adapt.And first, what has caught your attention? How do you spend these days of confinement?At home with family. It is a difficult time for everyone but we have to see it on the positive side, that of being able to spend more time with your children and with your wife. If we think about other things, we go crazy.And that ‘positive side’ for you is that you were injured and can now recover.If the championship had continued I would have missed seven or eight games. And now possibly, if I continue well, I will not miss any. When you see the Spanish championship on TV you already think it is very good. But when you play here you realize that there is an impressive quality. In England they do not have as much technique to have the ball, turn or make a good pass. But any Primera team takes the ball from you and combines quickly. That in my position, that of a defensive midfielder, is somewhat lethal. If you make a little mistake, they kill you.The defensive pivot thing comes to your hair … What a way to steal balls.I think that every team needs a player like this, so that he can attack calmly, without fear of receiving counterattacks. Jesualdo Ferreira, my first coach at Porto, taught me many things.Zito, Dunga, Mazinho … Go pivots with office and forcefulness has given the canarinha apart from the pretty game.In Brazil all parents think that their children are going to be footballers, they give them a ball at birth. But there is the quality and in Europe they teach you how to position yourself. If we had better positioning we would have won more World Cups.Six years in Porto, two in City … And he has not played with Brazil or Portugal, where he was nationalized.FIFA did not leave me with Portugal … and yes, it is rare that someone who has been playing Champions for so long and in important teams never goes to Seleçao. Playing with Brazil yet? I don’t think about it anymore, only about winning things with Sevilla.They call him ‘the Octopus’. Where does it come from?It happened in Porto. In 2009 we tied 2-2 at Old Trafford and I stole a lot of balls, I made a great match. A weird nickname? I like it, I am very proud.When do you think LaLiga will return?We don’t know when it will return. Not even if he will return. But if it takes much longer it will be complicated. I have already been told that here in Seville, in July, it is extremely hot. And so you can’t play soccer.
Door closed: “In the end, sport is a spectacle for people and to enjoy it we all have to be well. There has been talk of the possibility of playing behind closed doors and whether it should be to end the season as I can understand it, but for the next course you have to understand that the amateur is essential in all this. “Leeds: “Here I have found the possibility of playing in a spectacular league, with high-level footballers, full stadiums … it is second division but it does not seem like it, it could be compared to many first league, without a doubt. It is a club which, being in second, makes you feel like a great team. Our stadium is full every game. The passion for Leeds makes you feel it from the first moment. “Bielsa: “Bielsa is a crack. He knows a lot about soccer and, although his method is very demanding, all of us in Leeds have improved a lot with him. But there are days when he wants to kill him, speaking affectionately. All of us who are in Leeds have improved a lot with him ”.Workouts at home: “Each player has a weekly planning of what they have to do, with the GPS to pass the data of their activity. They also control the weight, they have sent us material at home and for example the goalkeepers have a kind of ramp to bounce the ball and that we can continue working on the issue of reflexes, ball blocks, falls … “. Stop due to coronavirus: “In the hope that it will end soon and locked up at home, although here in England the confinement is not so demanding. We can go to the park, if it is family, they can go out together respecting the distance with the rest of the people.”Assemble the competition: “The only thing they have told us is that until May 16 we will not be able to train again and it is a date that will depend a lot on how the virus evolves.” Kiko Casilla he has been playing for almost a year Leeds United. Undisputed headline for Marcelo Bielsa, technician of the English club, that militates in the Championship (second English). He has had to deal in the past few weeks with the accusations of racist after an encounter with the soccer player Leko. Casilla was sanctioned with eight games by the English Federation. Now, with the break required by COVID-19, he granted an interview to L’Esportiu.
WESTERN BUREAU:Struggling FC Reno will have to find a way to avoid relegation, says the club’s head coach, Michael Graham, after watching his team give up a one-goal lead to title chasing Humble Lion in Sunday’s 1-1 draw in the Red Stripe Premier League.”I am a little disappointed because at 1-0 up and playing well in the first half, we came out flat in the second-half and allowed Humble Lion too much time on the ball and a goal we were dreading happened,” stated Graham.Reno are precariously perched just above the relegation zone with 31 points in 10th place, but have breathing room between themselves and red zone teams Rivoli United (23) and Waterhouse FC (22).That, however, is no comfort to the ambitious Graham, who believes winning a paltry seven matches out of 27 is not good enough for the three-time League winners.According to Graham, the club’s rich history and the passionate diehard supporters demand more from their players.”We know where we are letting down the fans. We have an all-round decent squad of players, but for some reason, we cannot get the ball into the net. We tend to create plenty chances in match situations and score few.”That is why we are not doing as well as we would like, and it’s hurting the club’s prospects going forward,” reasoned Graham.Roshane Sharpe has taken on the club’s goal-getter role, netting his sixth goal of the season in Sunday’s match against Humble Lion at Frome Sports Complex.biggest headacheHowever, it’s in defence that Graham has the biggest headache. Reno have conceded 40 goals in all this season, making them the league’s second-worst defensive team behind ninth-placed Boys’ Town FC (43).”We realised that we are not doing a good job in defence, even though we have who I consider good players in there. We are not scoring enough, and on the other hand, we are conceding too many,” Graham said.”That is a recipe for disaster, and the club can do without that at the moment. However, we still have some critical matches ahead of us, so we must give our all to put ourselves at least mid-pack at the end of season,” added Graham.
The now distinct possibility of tainted American Justin Gatlin dethroning Usain Bolt at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing has become even more of a clear and present danger to all concerned. Indeed, one IAAF presidential candidate said it loud and clear: “World athletics need Bolt to beat Gatlin in Beijing.” One former British Olympian, Darren Campbell, has taken a more convoluted approach to the scenario, expressing his hope that Gatlin beats Bolt in Beijing so that the powers that be will finally pay attention to the scourge of drug use in the sport. The entire swing of sentiments going into these World Championships is against Gatlin winning, despite him being the clear world leader in both the 100 and 200m events over the last two years. The man is like an unwelcome guest in his own house, with duty of evicting him falling to Usain Bolt. My sincere hope is that Bolt and his handlers do not make the mistake of taking onto their shoulders the wider off track intricacies of the sport, at the expense of what is good for Bolt the champion athlete and Bolt the Legend. They should leave the Justin Gatlin headache to the designated administrators of the sport. We know the erudite mind that Glen Mills possesses on all matters of track and field, in particular as it relates to Bolt. I maintain that if there is even the slightest chance of Bolt losing his sprint titles to Gatlin in Beijing, then the big Jamaican should call it a “no go”. Even at this late stage. Bolt the sprinter has nothing to prove to anyone. At this stage of his career, the preservation and protection of his legacy should be more important than trying to write the wrongs of the world governing body of the sport. The normal pressure of competition, the task of trying to get into championship winning shape this season, compounded by the threat of a hungry, motivated and feisty competitor like Gatlin is in and of itself enough to bear. The consideration of the consequences of having a two-time dope cheat becoming the face of the sport while significant, is simply not Bolt’s war to fight. The IAAF is responsible for leaving the door ajar, allowing Gatlin and others to return to the sport. They are the ones who should fix that problem, not Bolt. Bolt needs to concentrate all his energies on maintaining his status of being the world’s fastest man and the greatest sprinter ever, as an active competitor that should be his obligation to himself and to the sport. If the big Jamaican is not in shape to beat Gatlin in the next couple weeks, then he should simply step away from the track, begin the arduous task of his preparing to get into the best possible shape of his life for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and look to go out in a blaze of glory. Along the way he should stay clear of the IAAF politics.
Scotiabank has been supporting the development of Jamaica’s netball programme since 2006. Michael Jones, senior vice-president of human resource, lauded the Sunshine Girls. “I wanna let the team know that no matter where you got to, we regard you as great winners, as part of an enduring legacy of great winners that Jamaica has produced and continue to produce,” he outlined. Other representatives who spoke were Yanique Forbes Patrick, vice-president of Caribbean Central and Shelly Sykes Coley, sponsorship manager. Team captain, Nicole Aiken-Pinnock said thanks on behalf of the team, while Netball Jamaica president, Marva Bernard, thanked sponsors. “I would really just like to say to my ladies, do not empower the naysayers, do not empower the critics, we have nothing to be ashamed of, we are proud Jamaicans, we are proud Sunshine Girls and we know it has been difficult for us coming home here. But guess what, we are resilient and thankful to Scotia Bank and all our sponsors,” stressed Bernard. International Netball Federation (INF) president, Molly Rhone, believes that despite Jamaica’s team returning home without medalling at the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, they should be credited for retaining their fourth-place world ranking. Australia won the championship ahead of archrivals New Zealand, while England placed third. The Sunshine Girls again failed to medal, just like at the 2011 World Cup. “I don’t think people understand what some of these ladies (Sunshine Girls) are up against when they go out there to play these giants,” Rhone said yesterday, while speaking at an official breakfast to welcome home the Sunshine Girls, inside Scotiabank’s marketing boardroom, at their office downtown Kingston. “They (Australia, New Zealand and England) are not only giants in terms of play, but their size and the whole operation that they lead,” continued Rhone. The INF president noted: “Australia has a company of 150 employees, England has more than that and New Zealand about 60,” while stressing that Australia’s talent pool numbers about one million. “We are still number four in the World and that’s some achievement for a team sport in Jamaica. So girls, well done, management, coach, Marva (Bernard) I know you have given it your all. Congrats, and I wanna thank Nova Scotia because you are one of the people who have stuck with them,” Rhone added. enduring legacy
World titles BEIJING (AP): At the Bird’s Nest, it’s another Dibaba gold. Seven years after Tirunesh got a long-distance double at the Beijing Olympics, little sister Genzebe won her first gold medal at the same stadium at the World Championships – bringing her halfway to her own double. The Ethiopian sisters have the same languid, elegant stride, which packs a ferocious acceleration in the final stages of any middle and long-distance race. Genzebe proved that when she kicked for home halfway through the 1,500-metre final. No one could get on her shoulder again, and she even had time to punch the air four times and cross the line with a windmill motion, metres ahead of silver medallist Faith Kipyegon of Kenya. It all happened at the same Bird’s Nest venue where Tirunesh Dibaba had her 5,000-10,000 double at the 2008 Olympics. “I wanted to share this family experience,” Genzebe said. Tirunesh, now 30 and a mother of son Nathan, already has a standout record with three Olympic and five long-distance World titles to go along with five World cross-country titles, but the 24-year-old Genzebe is planning to close in fast. The younger sibling has two World indoor titles and two world cross-country titles on top of yesterday’s gold. And just this year, she set the World record in the 1,500. Not that Genzebe needs much sisterly help when her running is already so good, but when asked about the best advice she ever got from Tirunesh, the answer comes immediately. “Once you decide to go, you never stop,” Genzebe said. “My plan (was) to go at the 800.” Next up for Genzebe is Sunday’s 5,000 and a chance to make it double, just like her big sister.
JC A TOUGH TEAM Principal Margaret Campbell believes her St George’s College (STGC) school spirit will soar even higher following that institution’s emphatic ISSA/Flow Super Cup 4-0 beating of Jamaica College (JC) inside the National Stadium, last Saturday. STGC pocketed $1,000,000, JC took home $375,000 for second place, while Wolmer’s Boys finished third after beating St Jago 2-1. 17-year-old Alex Marshall, STGC’s influential striker, was named the Golden Boot winner for his six goals. Following Saturday’s massive final, which saw the Corporate Area kingpins settle at one Super Cup each, STGC’s jubilant principal is eying “more titles and more success.” “This year when our theme is ‘STGC good and true, fanning the flames of the white and blue’, this just brings everybody together. It’s just wonderful to win, and the million dollars of course is wonderful,” Campbell joked. “I have to say our coach Neville Bell is wonderful, but in addition to that, I think because we are now expected to be winning in football the students that choose us choose because of football. “I believe in excellence, win or lose, I am proud of my boys but it’s always good to win, so it would be good to win all four titles. It would do a lot for us in terms of school spirit, support for us and support from our old boys,” the principal told The Gleaner. She added: “JC were not a walk over, they’re a tough team to beat.” “Absolutely, big celebrations for us next week, just a school thing for now until we figure out what we are going to do,” she outlined. Saturday’s final was a vintage performance from Alex Marshall who scored two and played a part in all four goals. Gregory Messam Jr dispatched a fifth-minute penalty after Marshall was dragged down in the penalty box. Marshall then finished off an exquisite strike from captain Shevon Stewart in minute 14. The irrepressible number 11 returned to torment JC in the second half, with his frustrated man-marker Ajeanie Talbott getting his second yellow card for a foul 24 yards out. Former JC player Ronaldo Watson caressed home the free kick in minute 53, while Marshall polished off his superb brace in the 58th minute. “It was always difficult against Stewart and Marshall we applied a man-marker against Marshall, he found space and anytime he got a look on goal it’s a goal. St George’s and Jamaica College is always a tough rivalry, hats off to St George’s, they were the better team, they were decisive in front of goal,” said JC Coach Miguel Coley. – Shayne Fairman
WESTERN BUREAU:Montego Bay United FC captain Dwayne Ambusley netted his first goal for almost three seasons and only his second goal for the club, as they eased past Tivoli Gardens FC 2-0 in Monday night’s Red Stripe Premier League football fixture at Montego Bay Sports Complex.Afterwards, he dedicated the victory to his daughter, Shanice, who was celebrating her birthday, noting that he had promised something special and the goal was a fitting gift.”I am delighted with the win because I kept my promise to my daughter to score tonight and get the win,” the midfielder said.”It is my first goal in about three years so it’s special on that account. But the most important thing is that we won tonight,” added Ambusley.The win lifted the former champions level to the top on 37 points with Portmore United and two clear of defending champions Arnett Gardens FC.Ambusley’s goal, which gave his team a 12th minute lead, was rather fortuitous, as his intended cross swerved away from Tivoli’s goalkeeper Edsel Scott and into the upper far corner of the goalgoalscoring formMercurial striker Dino Williams also continued his fine goalscoring form, when he scored in the 28th minute in a dominant first half of football from the home side, in front of a partisan crowd.Ambusley said they were determined to get the victory and heaped praise on Williams for his role in the team’s success so far this season.”We talked about it before the game that we needed to win this one and that Dino keeps scoring and it worked out that way. As team captain, I can’t ask for nothing more.”MoBay’s goalkeeper had a relatively quiet night between the posts, but was called to duty with a superb one-handed save to deny Jamoy Sibbles an equaliser at the 18th minute.Williams was netting his League-leading 14th goal for the season, but the hard-running striker was taken off in second half action because of a lingering hamstring problem.Tivoli’s coach, Christopher Bender, said his side’s struggle will have to be addressed with additional talent in the transfer window.”We are not playing with enough confidence at the moment and of course the team missed Junior Flemmings greatly. He brings a certain calmness to the team and that was lacking tonight,” Bender reasoned.”There still a way to go in this up and down season for us, but we’re hoping to get some wins and stay away from trouble,” he said.Tivoli, following their 10th loss this season, lie 10th in the 12-team standings and have a woeful defensive record, having shipped a league leading 28 goals in 19 matches.
Marquee 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer recalls last season as bittersweet but remains confident that should she medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, it would put the icing on the cake as her greatest year ever.Spencer is one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the Diamond League circuit with a total of 21 wins.In an interview with The Gleaner, Spencer said that 2015 was a bittersweet season for her. “It began great. Unfortunately, I got an injury and I wasn’t able to complete my season as I would have wanted to but just using that as a stepping stone for this season.”Jamaica and the world have definitely not seen Kaliese Spencer’s best. I think this season is going to be a great season, so just watch out.”Despite her recent IAAF World Championships medal failures in the finals, Spencer maintains that she is over those disappointments, settled in her new training club, and looking at improving.”I have a great set of coaches working with – great people, great athletes – and it’s like a family,” she outlined at Cameron Blazers, adding that it would help her medal this year.”Definitely, I will be on the medal podium (Rio Olympic Games). I just want to stay healthy, and once God is in it, I will be a winner and I will be there,” Spencer continued.”I am over that (disappointments) long time ago. I don’t stay long on one thing. I just get going. OK, that was it. I am strong in faith, and I believe that God is by my side, and I believe that one day I will be victorious, and I am just working towards that,” she said.Though Spencer admits that she has a lot left in the tank, she did not want to predict how fast she could run this year.”I am not thinking about (times) that. I am just thinking about focusing and getting my technique better and getting stronger and staying healthy, and once I stay healthy, the times will come,” stressed Spencer.
MANCHESTER, England (AP):Leicester’s players are getting ready for another big party – and this time the fans are invited.Images of the Leicester squad celebrating its unlikely Premier League title triumph in Jamie Vardy’s house on Monday night were posted on social media and went global. Wes Morgan, Leicester’s captain, was filmed being spun around the kitchen floor while jubilant teammates danced around him, savouring one of the greatest-ever sporting stories.On Saturday, Morgan will have the honour of lifting the Premier League trophy in front of more than 30,000 fans at Leicester’s atmospheric King Power Stadium. Add Morgan’s name to the likes of Manchester United’s Roy Keane, Arsenal’s Tony Adams and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, some of the other inspirational captains to have got their hands on English football’s biggest prize.FEEL-GOOD TALESThe Leicester story is rich with feel-good tales, notably Vardy’s rise from playing non-league football to being English champions in the space of five years. Morgan’s backstory is also one to gladden the heart, too.The 32-year-old centre back was released by Notts County as a youngster and also had to start again in the non-leagues. He got another chance in the professional ranks, this time with Nottingham Forest in 2001, but was overweight and was worked extra hard by the club’s fitness staff.He became a mainstay of Forest’s team for a decade before moving to Leicester in 2012, and only got his first taste of top-flight football at the age of 30. He was error-prone in the early stages of last season but is now a commanding presence in the defence alongside fellow centre back Robert Huth.Leicester will be presented with the trophy after tomorrow’s match against Everton, which will be as much a celebration as a game of football.”I’m just going to try and hold back the tears,” Morgan said. “I think it’s going to be very emotional. It’s the biggest moment of my life. I can’t wait to lift the trophy and get my hands on it.”There’s another treat for Leicester fans tomorrow: Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will sing before the game, honouring a commitment he gave to Ranieri in a conversation six weeks ago if Leicester went on to win the Premier League.Leicester, 5,000-1 long shots for the title at the start of the season, have achieved the unthinkable with two games still to play. For many other teams in the Premier League, there’s still plenty at stake.RACE FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUELeicester and second-place Tottenham are already guaranteed to be playing in the Champions League next season. There is a massive scrap behind them for the other two berths in Europe’s top club competition, and some big teams are going to miss out.Arsenal and Manchester City currently occupy third and fourth place, and they meet at City’s Etihad Stadium on Sunday. A loss for City could leave the team in danger of being caught by Manchester United and West Ham, who are fifth and sixth, respectively and have games in hand on Arsenal and City.
The Premier League clubs in Jamaica must take a significant portion of the blame for this period of uncertainty. Their reluctance to expose young players to the top flight at an early age plays a big part in the stagnation of the development of the young players. This has, over time, fed into the psyche of the football public and the young players themselves, convincing them that they are only good for schoolboy football and not even for our mediocre premier league, let alone getting called up to the national squad. The knee-jerk reaction of national coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore of calling up of all of 10 schoolboys to the current squad is confirmation that Whitmore himself is totally missing the point. That is typical pandering without conviction. Calling 10 schoolboys to the squad can only make sense if Whitmore truly believes in the quality of these players and will stick with them for the long haul. If, as suspected, these selections turn out to be tokenism and pandering, and most of these 10 schoolboys will never receive a second call- up, then the principle would have been totally betrayed. The general and utter confusion about how to manage the introduction of young players into the system is an index of how poorly we have grasped this very basic principle of the sport of football. Investment in youth is standard procedure in football all over the world. For far too long, we have had it totally twisted in Jamaica. That is why at the seniors national level, in recent years, the federation has resorted to scouring the sidewalks of England and go begging second-rate, half, committed journeyman players to come and don the national colours, basically telling an entire generation of young Jamaican players that they are not good enough. The rhetoric of the past few weeks seems hell bent on maintaining that sad state of affairs, an eventuality that will continue to stagnate and destroy the game locally, while all these myopic thinkers continue to TOTALLY MISS THE POINT. The discussions and actions across the local football fraternity in recent weeks, regarding the call for the infusion of more young players in the national senior set-up, have confirmed that many persons are totally missing the point. The basic and fundamental notion of identifying and indulging the very best of our young players at senior national level is being rejected by those who I think, by and large, lack the vision and foresight to understand the medium- to long-term potential of making this kind of strategic investment. In the books of the naive and ignorant, an 18 or a 19-year-old is very young in football, but in real and progressive football cultures, a 19-year-old is a ‘big man’ in football. For the persons who believe that 18 and 19-year-olds are merely amateur schoolboys, it will be difficult for them to fathom youngsters at this age being included even in a local-based training squad for a couple of friendly internationals. Such is the crippling short-sightedness that’s been shadowing these discussions. Without even realising it, the dissenting voices to the inclusion of youth are unable to envisage the kind of positive developmental effect that one or two years of consistent exposure at this level could achieve, once the right players are identified and persisted with. It seems beyond their myopic scope to accept that in a Jamaican system that is rife with imperfections, and that has wasted and destroyed hundreds of talented young players over the years. Genuine and strategic investment in young players could completely change the football landscape. This principle here has nothing to do specifically with hyping or overrating schoolboys, it is simply about investing in our very best young players available; wherever they are and at whatever level they play, the principle applies. if our best two or three youngsters are out of school and are already in the premier league, then so be it. That is why it is encouraging to see players like Rodave Murray, Shamar Nicholson and others getting the call. The reason schoolboys are perennially mentioned in this debate is because of the high profile of the schoolboy competitions, but if a good young talent is spotted in super league or even in a Sunday-evening scrimmage game and the talent is outstanding enough to inspire a call-up, then in principle, that young talent should be grabbed and nurtured. The fulcrum point of this principle is the IDENTIFYING OF TALENT. Period of uncertainty