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Reggae Boyz warned: No walkovers


Reggae Boyz warned: No walkovers

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JAMAICA FOOTBALL FEDERATION president, Captain Horace Burrell, has warned of the threat coming from smaller Caribbean nations in the upcoming Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and says the Reggae Boyz will have to be well prepared in order to prevail.

During an interview in Miami, Florida recently, the veteran football administrator praised the development taking place in CONCACAF.

“I think we’re going to have a couple of surprises because football is sometimes tricky, and I say this because it is very difficult to predict,” Burrell pointed out.

“What I find is that over the years I have grown to see some of the small nations play their best games against the more established nations within the Caribbean region. So I am not expecting a walkover nor am I expecting it to be predictable; it’s going to have a lot of twists and turns.”

Burrell was one of several association heads in Miami recently to witness the draw for the first two rounds of qualifying. Round one, which kicks off March 23, will see the 14 lowest-ranked teams in the region compete in home-and-away ties, with the seven winners advancing to the second round to take on 13 teams.

Round two, starting June 8, involves St Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Canada, Guatemala, Aruba, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Suriname.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will begin their involvement from round three, facing the ten winners from round two, along with Haiti, starting September 8.

Burrell said though he was expecting an improved challenge from their traditional Caribbean rivals, he believed Jamaica had the talent and would be well prepared enough to reach the World Cup finals for the second time in their history.

“They [Jamaica] are the team that every country in the Caribbean wants to beat, and I understand that,” he stressed.

“We are wary of the Caribbean teams; we know what they are capable of. Even in the recent Caribbean Cup, you would have realised that all of the teams plays their best game against Jamaica, so we’re not expecting anything different when it comes to the World Cup qualifying.” (CMC)