Selection Of All-Jamaica Footer Team

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

First Real Attempt By Selectors To-day; "Probable" Side To Play Schoolboys
Hardly Of Any Use; Teams Should Have Been Selected And Ready Long Ago

The first real attempt at finding and putting together the prospective All-Jamaica side to play against the visiting Trinidad footballers will be made this afternoon, when a picked team will play against the selected All-Schools team in a final trial match at Sabina Park.

To be candid, I was just about thinking when such a trial would be made; for after three unsuccessful attempts at finding the right team it would appear as if nothing material has been achieved by the selectors, and as the visiting players will be here on Monday, it leaves me in an atmosphere of doubt.

The correct procedure that the selectors should have adopted, since the playing of the first trial match, was to have selected a team—the most likely set of players—and play that team in a match against, say, the Sherwood Foresters. That done, it would have hardly been necessary to have more than another match.

For, after playing the picked team once together, if there was a player whose position wasn't justified, then another or two could have been tried. With such arrangements, the problem of finding the right set of players would have long been solved, and to-day the team would have been all set and ready for the arrival of the invaders.

While I appreciate the action of matching up this "Probable" side against the selected School boy players to-day, I am in some doubt as to the results to be gained. If this does serve as an "eye opener" to the selectors in any way, the obvious point is that there will be a great amount of dissatisfaction chiefly among the many "crack players."

On the other hand, and this is most likely to happen—after today's trial, the


in their decisions, and naturally will be wanting to have another trail or two. That will mean that even after the arrival of the visiting team, Jamaica will still be endeavouring to select the team that is to play them in the first All Jamaica match a week hence.

Looking at the situation from another angle, supposing, for instance, such players as Willie and Clarence Passailaigue, Hadden and McKenzie cannot find it possible to play? What will happen? There can be no doubt as to the claim of these players on the All Jamaica side. As a matter of fact, I contend that without the inclusion of these players the picked side will be found very much wanting.

But suppose any or all of these four players cannot find it possible to play, what will the selectors do, if they must decide on the right team after today's trial? It will evidently mean that, with the selection of these players, those who took part in the trial wasted their time. That is all it would amount to.

To have a player or certain players constantly trying out with no certainty as to their gaining a place on the side is by no means nice; and, on the other hand, players who feel that their places on the team is practically assured will not very well "condescend" to be constantly playing trials. It is noticeable that in these trials certain players refused, pointedly or otherwise, to take part, after participating in one or two already.


In some respects, however this trail today will serve a double purpose—that of finding and fitting in the right players of the schools. This is also a decision that should have been made long ago; for, unlike the Club players, the "fitting in" of school boys and teaming with other than those of their own team, is a more difficult task.

Like all selected teams of different players—primarily football—it is most essential that each player should be thoroughly acquainted with the playing of the others of each section; and while I will admit that, with just one or two exceptions, the side selected from the schools is individually the best in the positions in their respective teams, they should learn to play together.

As in the instance of the All-Jamaica players, should today's trial prove dissatisfying in any respect with regard to any individual or individuals, it is also evident that an effort will be made by the Schools Committee to repair any flaws in the team. This is also late, and here too, I claim, that something should have been done long ago to muster the very best set of players to represent the schools satisfactorily.

Personally, I feel much more would have been gained, if, instead of matching up these school boy players against the "Probables" All-Jamaica side, the Committee had accepted my suggestion of playing the selected All Schools team against another side of schoolboys. While it is a fact that these schoolboys will be playing against men, and there is no harm in their playing against men, also, in a trial, my intention is based on the fact that to select a final schoolboy team by playing them against Club men is by no means doing justice to either the players or the selection.

Another point that must be observed in this trial of the schoolboys today is this: Supposing, like the instance of the Club players. a player or players have to be substituted, and


shows up distinctly good, what will be the position of this player and the one that was formerly selected? These are really one or two little essentials that the Committee should have observed in making their selection, once a trial of any sort was likely to be arranged.

As I expressed in these columns long ago, I do not feel that the schools selectors have done absolute justice in the side they have chosen. There are no less than two players on the side they picked that could have been bettered, and I am sure that this will manifest itself, in to-day's game.

Whatever might be the result of to-day's trial, it is imperative that some decision be made on both the All-Jamaica and All-School sides finally. It appears most regrettable that a final decision was not already made on the All-Jamaica side, in order that the team would have been playing together in a scrap or two, to get a better understanding of each other's playing.