Reggae Boyz Takes on Suriname on November 13th

Theodore Whitmore has kicked off Jamaica’s preparations for their must-win Caribbean Cup tie against Suriname in Kingston. The interim head coach of the Reggae Boyz has pulled in all nine squad members who play on the ‎island for an early training camp.

Having been installed for two Caribbean Cup games in place of axed Winfried Schäfer, Whitmore began Jamaica’s defence of their crown with a 4-2 stuttering suc‎cess in Guyana. The Reggae Boyz bounced back from trailing 2-0 after the half-hour mark against Guyana in Georgetown, where they snatched a last-gasp equaliser to force extra-time then easily came out on top.

Whitmore needs a repeat of that triumph when he leads his team into battle at the Anthony Spaulding Complex in Kingston on 13 November (6pm local time kick-off).

Cory Burke, Shaun Francis, Je-Vaughn Watson and Dicoy Williams each bagged a goal last time, and will be aiming to score again when relative minnows Suriname are the visitors.

The nine-player squad are being put through their paces from Monday to Thursday at the JFF Technical Center UWI and then will return to their respective ‎clubs before all 20 players convene.

Those in training are Dwayne Ambusley, Ewan Grandison, Rosario Harriott, Allan Ottey, Ladale Richards, Rohan Richards, Andrew Vanzie, Dino Williams and Dicoy Williams.

The 11 other squad members are set to arrive in Kingston on 7 November with Suriname’s representatives scheduled to land three days later.

With the tie played until there is a winner, whichever team triumphs is guaranteed a money-spinning place in the 2017 Caribbean Cup’s semi-finals when the competition moves to the United States in June.

And greater riches await the victorious side on 13 November, as they will be awarded a berth in the 2017 Gold Cup where the big guns of Argentina and Brazil will be competing.

Whitmore, who was replaced in 2013 by Schäfer, has been strongly linked with taking over the Boyz again on a permanent basis.

However, failure to overturn Suriname and miss out on much-needed financial rewards from next year’s Caribbean Cup and Gold Cup tournaments would leave the Jamaica Football Federation outraged and most likely to focus on finding a different head coach.

Although Whitmore is under pressure to claim victory against Suriname, he has already won the Caribbean Cup as head coach six years ago so is aware of the job ahead.

Whether he will get the nod for the job as Jamaica’s head coach again remains in the balance, but the odds are stacked heavily in his favour despite the tie being played on the unlucky date of the 13th.

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