The Jamaica national senior football team coach Winfried Schäfer says he is not saddened by losses to Serbia and Switzerland in recent friendly international games. Schäfer, in a release to the media said that: “Baseball legend Babe Ruth once said that that every strike is one step closer to a home run.”
Jamaica went down 2-1 to Serbia last Monday, then lost 1-0 to World Cup-bound Switzerland 1-0 in Lucerne, last Friday.
“I always liked that quote because it points out the quintessence of success in sport, maybe of success, in general. You can’t expect to grow, to improve and finally be successful without a challenge yourself, take a risk and lose from time to time.
“We lost two games against Serbia and Switzerland, but I’m not sad, not at all. We chose to play those games against two very strong teams because we are now in a development phase. It would be a waste of time to play against mediocre or even low-level teams just to present you with an easy win.
“We want to become a better team, game by game. We are already preparing for the Caribbean Cup and we take that seriously. This time it wasn’t about winning, but about achieving a number of individual and specific team successes – important steps, and I’m proud to say that we are able to do that,” Schäfer said.
He continued: “I want to thank the team. Those friendly games weren’t official FIFA games, so after a hard and stressful season (with their respective clubs), the players decided to play for their country instead of enjoying holidays. That’s wonderful as it tells us about their patriotism, ambition and professionalism.
“Once again, our players proved that we have the base we need to build on future success. You can be proud of our team. And, of course, I thank you, the fans for the support,” he added.
Schäfer looked at the two games.
“Against Serbia, a team with players in top clubs in Europe, we were a bit nervous in the beginning, but came back in the second half confident and strong. Over time, we played even better than Serbia. Rodolph Austin impressed as a good captain, a leader and role model for professionalism. Young Michael Seaton from Washington proved himself as a cold-blooded striker. André Blake, our goalkeeper, had a fantastic game, and Philadelphia should ask themselves why he isn’t number one. We had all in all a pretty new team. Four local players who fought bravely and two new guys from England who made clear that they want it all.”
“Then against a very good Swiss team, we played even better, and I’m very proud because that made clear what we are able to achieve if we have the time to work together.”