Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss Michael Ricketts has conceded that the team is already falling behind in its preparation for what will be an important and busy 2021.
This year will see the national team engaged on several fronts, as they take part in an expanded World Cup qualifiers format and also look to put on a strong showing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
In the case of the qualifiers, things could be particularly tricky with the final round changed from 6 to 8 teams. The changed were brought into effect by CONCACAF after the pandemic distorted the international football schedule. The shift will see an additional number of matches, which will be accommodated with more matches in a longer international window. Such an undertaking will require fit and fully prepared squad as team could play up to three matches per window.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, a number of CONCACAF countries have already resumed at least some form of football in their countries and taken full advantage of international dates. In Jamaica, the country’s national league is yet to resume and the team has only managed two international friendlies, both against Saudi Arabia, since the pandemic.
“We as it is now are certainly underprepared. When you look at teams like Costa Rica and Mexico, Panama and Honduras, they are playing football, we aren’t,”
“We have some catching up to do, but I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic. We have an excellent technical staff and I do believe we will do well. We have a good unit.”