Sun | Jun 16, 2024

Where to from here, JFF?

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2023 | 12:59 AM


My subject line is related to the question that many persons have been asking my husband and myself about our son Jordan Mangatal’s future with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). He was fortunate to have been part of the squad that participated in the U17 CONCACAF in Guatemala. So well-meaning persons have asked what is going to happen next with his role in the squad and we have to say, we don’t know. And therein lies the problem.

Most persons are of the opinion that Jamaica will never progress pass a certain point in international competitions because “JFF will never change”.

It does appear that making the same decisions with the same unsuccessful outcomes seem rather foolhardy and will result in persons who could assist in Jamaica progressing further in any competition wanting to have very little to do with the JFF because of their past and present culture.

The JFF has a new executive director, new marketing director, and a new coach for the Jamaica Men’s national team. Sounds great, but what will that lead to and will things truly change?

I genuinely believe that things can change but it has to take a strong leader. A leader that will get coaching staff with some international experience. A leader that will, through marketing and promise of transparency, get sufficient funds to improve the training facilities, e.g., landscaping and maintaining at least five fields at international standards. A leader who will hire persons who can cover administrative functions, e.g., ensuring that squad players have their passports and visa ready. A leader that will allow the gear that the squad wears in a competition to be kept by the players. OK, the last one might be a little personal but you get the idea.

In order for any organisation to succeed, specific systems need to be in place.

1) A system that will allow interview and screening of the coaching staff that will be hired for all age groups.

2) Longer periods to train or more frequent times to train players for upcoming competitions.

3) Administrative staff that will supervise visa procurement, passport, medical supplies at the training facility, etc.

4) Experienced personnel to maintain physical facilities, especially fields. Corporate sponsorship will assist but transparency is needed so that the rumours as to “where the funds are going” will be laid to rest.

So where to from here? No continuity for the young men who did their best to represent Jamaica? No reaching out to establish future training for future competitions? No tryouts? Other countries have programmes that are continuously scouting for potential talent, training these talent, developing these talent.

So, JFF, please step up. Ask for any help. For the persons that will put down the JFF’s efforts, let them put up or shut up. But please do the right thing for the future of Jamaica’s football and its place on the international stage.