Jamaica enhanced her soccer prestige in series

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Largie was outstanding player in the tourney

JAMAICA'S GRATITUDE to the CFA for conducting their experiment in Caribbean soccer at Sabina Park was the attendance of a record 70,000 fans who witnessed an exceptionally high standard of play during the six-match tourney—four games of which were Tests.

Furthermore in ending the Test series in a draw Jamaica not only enhanced her soccer prestige but in left half Karl Largie produced the most outstanding player of the tournament. Kruin, Parsons and Alcock were the other top players.

First match was played on February 18, when the Caribbean All-Stars defeated All-Schools 4-0; on February 20, All-Stars beat the Royal Welch 3-0; on February 23, All-Stars defeated Jamaica 5-1; second Test on February 25, Jamaica beat All-Stars 2-1; third Test on February 27, All-Stars stopped Jamaica 1-0 and the final Test on March 1, Jamaica won 1-0.

For sheer precision in movements the All-Stars were at all times the better combination and they gave quite an acceptable demonstration of the values of covering in defence, interchanging among forwards, trapping, passing, heading and ball control.

In the first Test Jamaica saw what perhaps was the greatest exhibition of opportunistic forward play by the lanky Surinam player Michel Kruin who will be 19-years old in April next.

Accurate Kruin

Kruin showed that a hard shot well taken on the run with a sense of direction invariably reaped rich reward. So accurate a shot was he that whenever the ball went in his direction the crowd roared "Mark Our Ruin". Kruin shooting on the run was amazing and he showed craft and speed. His only lapse was in the final Test when he took two wild shots.

Gerry Parsons at right back for the All-Stars was a pillar of strength. His tackling was very good and he was cool under all circumstances clearing strongly with either foot and stabbing to his wing halves when necessary.

This phase of his game offered much to Jamaican players, who too often indulge in the hefty and unprofitable kick from the defence lines.

Humphrey Mynals the Surinam wing half, who played at all three half positions during the tournament, was a great player who performed well without any show. His tackling and distribution with his head were good to watch.

Allan Joseph the regular pivot showed generous glimpses of classy ball play, but never recaptured the form he displayed when he came to Jamaica some years ago.

Another outstanding player was inside left Jacques Banguillot of Guadeloupe, a clever, scheming, and wily dribbler, he was always constructive but lacked the decisive shot which would place the lid of accomplishment on his fine manoeuvres.

The other All-Stars players showed versatility as they played at varied positions during the series with some distinction.

As far as Jamaica is concerned great credit must be given for the remarkable recovery from the humiliation of a 5-1 defeat in the first to victory in the next.

Undoubtedly the reason for the striking reversal of result was the bringing in of Lester Alcock whose wizardry with ball makes him the greatest dribbler the island and perhaps the Caribbean has ever produced.

Lindy, the master

Delapenha, the master, meshed his artistry with Alcock's and laid the foundation on which Jamaica improved her playing. Lindy played high soccer, but due to an injured right knee he wisely did not throw his full endeavours into all the games.

On the suggestion of Delapenha Jamaica utilised the "W" formation from the second game and in this plan Henry Miller—one of the late choices—did a magnificent job as a stopper pivot, and it was this integrated defence which curbed the aggressive All-Stars.

Jamaica's forward line never rose above the level of mediocrity. They showed an unfamiliarity with finer points of the game such as receiving ball, shooting on the run, trapping and positional playing.

The greatest credit must go to physical coach and masseur Manny Alves who placed on the
field the fittest aggregation that ever wore Jamaica's soccer colours.

Many changed had to be made on the Jamaica team and the most successful newcomer was the diminutive outside left, Bobby Williams, who centred well and showed courage when facing towering rivals.

Gillie Heron, brought down from the Scottish League where he is a pro with Glasgow Celtic, did not fulfill the great expectations.

Altogether it was a fine football feast.