Coach hoping young guns fire
NATIONAL?FOOTBALL COACH?Colin Forde believes it is about time that local strikers’ form on the domestic front be replicated on the international stage.
The new season kicks off on March 2 with Barbados facing five-time Caribbean champions Jamaica, and Forde is hoping that some young exciting strikers come to the fore.
“Goalscoring at the Barbados level . . . has always been a problem – let’s not fool ourselves.
“I find that when the players turn out in the league, they play with a bit more freedom and seem more relaxed, and that is what I want transferred to the international set-up.
“We have young players like Jomo Yearwood, who has had an oustanding season, and Shaquille Stewart from the Barbados Defence Force, along with Mario Harte, who made his mark consistently throughout the season,” he added.
Forde, an integral member of every national side throughout the 1980s, told MIDWEEK?SPORT he was especially impressed with 19-year-old Jabarry Chandler of Gall Hill.
“The player that I have been most impressed with is Chandler, who scored more than a dozen goals last season for Gall Hill. He has looked pretty sharp at practice and has shown what he can do.
“It has given me food for thought and [he] stands a good chance of playing against Jamaica,” he said.
Barbados have home advantage but are very much the underdogs against Jamaica, who are 88 spots in front of them in the world rankings, 80th compared with 168th.
Forde acknowledged that a draw would be a big result against a country that has played at the World Cup finals.
“Let us be honest. Jamaica is the No. 2 ranked team in the region with Trinidad and?Tobago No. 1. They are ranked about eighth in CONCACAF, so this is a big test for us and hopefully on the day we will apply ourselves and give a good performance.
“Based on the opposition, I would be happy with a draw but I would prefer a win.
“A victory over Jamaica would give us confidence and show us that we can compete with the big teams in the region,” he said.
Forde defended the decision to leave out promising goalkeepers Omari Eastmond of Pride of Gall Hill and Kadeem Farrell of Notre Dame from the training squad of 46.
He said that Eastmond was injured while Farrell did not attend regular sessions when last he was invited to national trials.
Recently, former national coach Keith Griffith, who is technical director of the British Virgin Islands Football Association, said he was shocked that neither Eastmond nor Farrell had been named among the list of invitees.
“They are both technically correct and have enormous potential, so it comes as a bit of a shocker that the national selectors didn’t see it necessary to include them,” Griffith said.
In relation to the women’s team, manager Sasha Sutherland said that the national squad was in training three times a week preparing for the Women’s World Cup qualifiers for Canada 2015.
“We are at a strong position in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). Trinidad and?Tobago [are] heading the CFU at No. 1 and are followed by Haiti, with Jamaica and Dominica among the leading teams. Barbados [are] about eighth on that list so we consider ourselves favourably,” she said.
Sutherland added that there were now ten overseas players who have expressed interest in representing Barbados, comprising six in the United States, two in England, one in Canada and one in Trinidad and?Tobago.