Jamaica’s Whitmore lauds local players

Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore (pictured) instructs his players during an international friendly against Honduras on February 16, 2017, in Houston, Texas, USA. (Photo: Jorge Campos) 

HOUSTON -- In Jamaica’s 1-0 win over Honduras in an international friendly on Thursday, head coach Theodore Whitmore started seven players currently competing in the Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League.

He credited their heart and tenacity for guiding the Reggae Boyz to their first victory over the Central American power since 2011. 

“I give top marks to the local players from the victory over Honduras on Thursday,” said Whitmore. “They went out there and showed the hunger and commitment and the attitude, so definitely a passing mark with flying colours.

“They have given themselves a strong chance of being part of the pool of players for the Caribbean Cup semi-finals and the Gold Cup, so they have certainly given me a lot to ponder.”

A trio of first-time starters – forwards Shamar Nicholson and Jourdain Fletcher, and defender Kevon Lambert – were singled out for praise.

“We took a bit long to get settled I feel,” Whitmore commented. “We had young Nicholson and Fletcher up front, and Lambert in the middle and you could see the nervousness in them in the first few minutes. As the game progressed, I think they got into their own and I admired their composure both on and off the ball. And they excelled against one of the best teams in CONCACAF. This makes me very happy as it is evidence that we as a country can produce top local talent.”

Jamaica is looking to schedule another friendly during the FIFA dates in March as it continues preparations for the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup semifinal against French Guiana on June 22.