Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Morrison will be there - Former Man United youth star to play for Boyz in Catalonia

Published:Sunday | February 16, 2020 | 12:37 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

General Secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Dalton Wint says former Manchester United youth player Ravel Morrison has accepted an invitation to play in the Reggae Boyz’s friendly international against Catalonia in Spain on March 30.

Wint told The Sunday Gleaner that Morrison’s inclusion in the Reggae Boyz squad for the Catalonia game is part of the federation’s plan to add more quality and depth to the squad ahead of their World Cup qualifying campaign which begins later this year.

“The team manager (Roy Simpson) has been in dialogue with him,” said Wint. “From what I have seen and what was said by Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager, he is a quality player and let’s hope he will continue to have that quality,” he said. In 2010 while Sir Alex was manager of Manchester United, Morrison played in the midfield of a Manchester United youth team which included current English Premier League stars Paul Pogba, a World Cup winner, and England’s Jesse Lingard.

“I think that he can be a great addition if he carries that quality. It is also an additional help that this programme can get because he is also very experienced,” Wint said. “He has travelled a lot and he has played in different systems and so he can definitely bring something to the table for us.”

The 27-year-old midfielder has, however, not lived up to expectations and is currently plying his trade for English Championship side Middlesbrough following his move from Premier League team Sheffield United last summer. Morrison was an unused substitute as hosts Middlesbrough went down 1-0 to Luton Town in a league match yesterday.

Morrison, who was granted his Jamaican citizenship in 2018, is yet to make an appearance for the Reggae Boyz, despite invitations from head coach Theodore Whitmore for the Concacaf Nations League fixture against Suriname and the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament in the United States.

Wint said the Reggae Boyz game against Catalonia will be used to look at England-based players who have expressed a desire to represent the country.

“We are looking forward to any additional help this programme can get with some quality players,” said Wint. “The coach has gone on record to say that he needs some support in his defence and in the midfield, and so those are the two areas that he has some concern with and those are the areas that he is looking to address,” he said.

“Remember you need to get as deep as you possible can in the different areas, because the World Cup qualifiers are all tough matches,” Wint said.

A local-based Reggae Boyz contingent will oppose Bermuda in a match at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on March 11.