Jamaica's Football Prospects Gloomy

Baz Freckleton
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

McMorris, McKen, Holt, Dujon, Delgado Out

Jamaica and British Guiana have accepted the invitation from the Trinidad Football Association to participate in a triangular football tournament in Trinidad beginning early November and lasting for three weeks. Unfortunately this invitation has come at a time when greatest interest is being centred around preparations for the coming intercolonial cricket tournament to
be followed by the M.C.C. tour.

Already, two of Trinidad's most outstanding players Gerry Gomez and Jeff Stollmeyer, have definitely stated that they are foregoing soccer football until after the M.C.C. tour while two other Trinidad stalwarts, Andy Ganteaume and Prior Jones, are somewhat uncertain about their plans. But, though this will be a loss to them, Trinidad's great wealth of football talent ensures that they will still field a formidable [illegible].

British Guiana will not be affected much by the programme on the tournament since very few of her outstanding footballers are candidates for cricket colours. I might mention here that in 1946 Trinidad lost in the football Test series to British Guiana and, if we accept the word of Burnell Jones, Trinidad's leading sportswriter, the Trinidad side fielded then was a more formidable side than that which visited Jamaica early this year.

Build Side Now!

The J.F.A. must be realistic and admitting that, line for line, Trinidad outplayed us, start building a representative side now.

McKen, unquestionably, the most outstanding Jamaican player in the tournament, is now in America and will not be available. Delgado and A. U. Dujon will also be off the island: both pursuing a medical course. Alcock, Jamaica wizard of dribbling and a certainty on any representative side, has had to return to Montego Bay and might not be able to make the tour. J. K. Holt Jnr. is thinking more in terms of cricket.

But it is in McMorris that Jamaica will suffer her greatest loss. Against Trinidad in a forward line notorious for its indecisiveness only McMorris, greatest opportunistic centre-forward for the past twenty years, seemed to know where to shoot and when to shoot. Mac takes the Higher School Certificate examination in December and cannot spare the time necessary for training and travelling to and from B.G.

Five Lessons

With all these players missing I find it inconceivable that anyone could view with undue optimism our football prospects and write as a well-known critic did in the local press that our forward line will be here I quote "as brilliant as a new-minted shilling."

We learnt five lessons from the Trinidad side: (1) A representative side must play under popular and inspired leadership; (2) It must have flexibility—note how Ganteaume, McLean, Seales, Lewis, Baird and Huggins played various positions with remarkable facility; (3) All players must be able to use both feet—three of our four halves who played during the tournament could only use one foot. (4) Pegs must be used on a wet ground; (5) We must discard the "W" formation and use a five-forward attack game with the halves moving close behind all attacking movements.

Whatever are the intentions of the J.F.A., speed is of essence or else down in Trinidad we may well be treated to a command performance of the terrible tragedy enacted at Sabina Park in February last when at the close of play in the last Colony match the score read: Trinidad 6, Jamaica 0.