Jamaica Soccer Vastly Improved

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Trinidad football officials say
Hayward:' Team best I have seen'

THAT JAMAICAN football has "vastly improved" over recent years, was the opinion of both Commander Charles Hayward, President of the Trinidad and Caribbean Football Associations, and Mr. Eric James, secretary and manager of the touring Trinidad football team which engaged Jamaica in a two-game series at Sabina Park on Monday and Tuesday.

This was expressed in a ship-side interview with the Gleaner, yesterday, immediately before the team sailed aboard the Golfito for England via Port Antionio on the boldest venture yet undertaken by any Caribbean Football Association.

Commander Hayward and Mr. James praised the hospitality extended to them by the Jamaica Football Association. Mr. James said he particularly wished to thank Mr. Winston Meeks, 1st Vice President of the JFA, Mr. Cecil Knight secretary, and Mr. L. K. Brown, treasurer. Commander Hayward mentioned specially Mr. G. M. daCosta, President of the J.F.A.

On the standard of the Jamaica team, Commander Hayward said: "It is the best Jamaican side I have seen, and I have been seeing Jamaica teams for the past 20 years." Mr. James said "Jamaican football had vastly improved" since the last time he saw it.

He thought Peter Pinhorn, one of our inside forwards, and Henry Miller, our centre half, the outstanding players of the Jamaica team.

Mr. James said he thought the Jamaica side "played well as a team". But for the "valuable practice" that his team got he had "nothing but praise", for the Jamaican players.

'Shall do best'

Asked what he thought of his team's chances against the strong professional and amateur teams that his side would meet in England, Mr. James said: "We shall do our best; win or lose, we shall benefit from this trip."

He had no excuse to offer for his team's defeat in one of the matches, but thought they would have done better, if they were not faced with a strenuous England tour.

Mr. James is travelling with the team as Manager, but on arrival in England will hand over this job to Mr. W. Vincent Brown, Vice-President of the TFA.

While in England, the team will play a number of strong amateur and professional teams, climaxed by a match against the pick of English amateur football. Each of the matches will last for 90 minutes, but the team is expected to stand up well to these matches, as for the past five months they have been practising similar games.

Mr. Joey Gonsalves is Captain of the 20-strong team which sailed from Trinidad with the record of being the champions of British West Indian football.

While in England, Mr. James and Mr. Brown will negotiate, on the instruction of the TFA, for a visit of an English international football team to the B.W.I. Jamaica has been invited to contribute to the success of this venture, and if she accepts, Jamaican football fans will have the opportunity of seeing the team in action here.

Down at No. 2 pier to see off the team yesterday were Mr. Cecil Knight, other JFA officials and Mr. Dudley Smith, the original selectee for the Jamaica Captaincy, but who droppd out at the last minute, due to injury.

The team returns to Trinidad on October 29.