What's The Score

G. St. C. Scotter
Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Yes, Mr. Linesman

I read with some interest Linesman's comments in our issue of 21st August on our Jamaica Football Team for Trinidad, but I must confess I am sadly puzzled to follow his line of argument.

He opens apparently by condemning those "alarmists" who point out that our team to-day is anything but strong—but closes by supporting exactly this contention!

In my opinion, what we want in our critics and selectors, is neither enthusiasts, nor alarmists, but men who can form a just estimate of how the team really stands, and what we
can best do to improve it.

In this connection, a lot of nonsense is talked about defeatism—over-confidence and underestimating your opponents strength is a far more dangerous attitude for any team or sporting authority than telling your men they are up against a really hard proposition and will have to do considerably better than they are doing if they want to get through.

Play The Youngsters

As regards the actual composition of the team for Trinidad, Linesman seems to agree with me, though here also he in somewhat vague.

My position is that in view of the fact that the Jamaica team to-day is anything but strong, and that many of the mainstays, even of this side are players whom we cannot expect
to improve much if at all, we should send as many young players from the schools and elsewhere as is practicable to Trinidad to give them the experience, and build up a team
for the future; rather than keep on with the same players who will be no use to us in a season or two; particularly when we are fairly certain to get a beating down in Trinidad, anyway.

Weeding Out

I am no alarmist, but I have no hesitation in saying that if we sent the same team to Trinidad that had to take that 6-0 licking last year, we should be soundly beaten by both Trinidad and British Guiana; moreover, many of the players in that team are never likely to improve, so it is time to substitute for them younger players, who, even if they are not quite so good, can at any rate be expected to improve.

I do not propose to name any particular players in this connections, beyond saying there are hardly any of them whom the description would not fit; we have also lost the most valuable young player on that side, McKen.

That is the dark side of the picture. On the brighter side we shall have the assistance of McLean from Trinidad, and I sincerely hope, of Sergeant Ray Marshall: if the latter is as good as his record calls for, he should be invaluable to our side, both as player and coach.

With these newcomers, with Major Allen Hill on the side, with three or four really good youngsters, such as the schools can supply, I might even become an enthusiast.

W.I. Football Board

With regard to the proposed West Indian Football Board of Control, my lack of enthusiasm might at first sight seem somewhat reactionary: but my view can be expressed very briefly: "What are we going to get out of it?"

You cannot compare a West Indian Football Board of Control with the West Indian Cricket Board of Control, which has done magnificent work for West Indian cricket, and has done it (as Linesman points out) without in anyway interfering with the work of the Boards of Control on the different Colonies.

The W.I. Cricket Board exists specifically for two functions. (1) To regulate the Test Match activities of the West Indies as a whole, a most important function on the highest International sports plane. (2) To regulate the Inter-Colonial Tournament, as much lesser local function.

There is not, and is never likely to be, a West Indian football team playing as an entity in the highest class of world football as the cricket team does in Test Series; indeed, there is no such organization as the Test Series anywhere in world football; so there is no point in having a W.I. Football Board for this purpose.

If it is proposed to form a regular Inter-Colonial Football competition on the lines of the cricket one, I personally am strongly against it.

I am against it even in cricket, for I believe Jamaica development in these games is far better served by retaining her own individuality, rather than being tied down year after year to the same old rounds of visits.

I can see nothing to gain by forming, or joining, a W.I. Football Board of Control.