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EP 1 - Joining Jamaica - Dishing Out Passports

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

The Idea behind the Save


As recently reported in the sports pages of most national newspapers, there have been rumours of the Jamaican FA encouraging a handful of English players to apply for a Jamaican passport so they can represent "The Reggae Boyz" to help them win their first ever North American Gold Cup and qualifying for their first World Cup since 1998, their only ever appearance on the grandest stage.


At the time of writing this episode I do not believe that any of the suggested players have actually changed allegiances from England to Jamaica, but what if?


Lets find out and attempt to make Jamaican footballing dreams come true.


Busy Day At the Passport Office


After more paperwork than a last minute deadline day transfer using a fax machine we have the newest members of The Reggae Boyz.


The Defenders

 

The Midfielders

 

The Forwards














 

The Manager



The obvious choice to take on this task of taking Jamaica on this journey is non other than Hamish McLean.

 

Building The Squad


After the obvious worldwide scrutiny that has been focussed on this group of players the JFA were adamant that they were included in all future national squads.


The additions have added some quality to the squad that really only had two stand out stars Leon Bailey, of Bayer Leverkusen and Bobby Decordova - Reid, of Fulham.


It has also made us overloaded with pacey wide players which will need to be focussed on when thinking of the best way to fit these players into a working tactic.


Some decent additions defensively, especially at Centre Back will add some serious backbone to the team.


Here is the tactic we will be taking into our first friendly which is against minnows Bonaire.


This tactic will aim to keep our back 4 as structured as possible and will allow the talent at the top of the pitch to do all of the talking.


Lets get to the first set of friendlies and see how we get on.


 

Match 1 - Friendly Wednesday 2/9/2020 Bonaire (A)



We handed a modest 8 debuts in our first game in charge.


Blake, Lawrence, Johnson and Bailey were the only players who had pulled on a Jamaican shirt before.


As its a friendly so there will be changes at half time and regularly through the second half.


The first half went as expected, we were straight out of the gates with a bang. Bailey scoring a wonderful half volley at the back stick in the 3rd minute. The first goal of the new regime.


We wasted chance after chance from there on until the half time whistle. 1-0 at HT.


Decordova-Reid and Jamal Lowe came on, replacing Redmond and Roofe. Michael Hector also came on to replace Liam Moore at centre back too.


But the story remained the same, chance after chance went begging.


Eventually we scored our second as Lowe was fouled in the box and Johnson tucked away the resulting penalty.


More changes were made as Andre Gray and Rolando Aarons made their debuts but the score didnt change.


2-0 FT.

 

Match 2 - Friendly Saturday 5/9/2020 Cayman Islands (H)


We made 5 personnel changes for the game against Cayman Islands.


Lowe, Decordova-Reid A. Gray and Pinnock were all handed starts.


We also made some slight changes to the roles in the midfield with Hayden being given the role of Ball Winning Midfielder and Johnson given the role of Roaming playmaker.


The first half was a mirror image of the previous game as an early Bailey goal and a Johnston goal put us 2-0 up. Sadly Andre Gray picked up and injury early into the game and was forced off, replaced by Antonio.


Two more first half goals completed Bailey's hattrick and Michail Antonio grabbed is first goal for Jamaica. HT 5-0


The second half was much of the same with less chances being taken. More changes were made. Nathan Redmond and Kemar Roofe came on, replacing Bailey and Decordova-Reid.


Antonio grabbed his 2nd of the game as the changes took the sting out of our dominance. FT 6-0.


 

So after acquiring an almost completely new first 11 we had two very gentle and easy friendlies which were comfortably won.


But October is where we put the new recruits to the test as we face North American Gold Cup rivals Mexico and the USA.


These are going to be very tough games and will give us a good idea on how we are progressing.



See you next time.


Cheers

Panda

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