Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Portmore United player Emilio Rousseau, for the first time in his career, is in the mix to represent the Reggae Boyz as the team gets ready to play in the CONCACAF Nations League Group Stage in September.

The Reggae Boyz will begin their group stage campaign with a game against Antigua and Barbuda and then against Guyana in September.

Rousseau will be joined by the returning Corey Burke as names that were absent from recent friendlies.

Goalkeeper Jeadine White makes the squad along with players like Kevon Reid, Amal Knight, Fabion McCarthy, Ladale Richie, Daniel Green, Kemar Bennett, Ajeanie Talbott, Andre Lewis, Tevin Shaw, Alex Marshall, Leonard Rankine, Kaheem Parris, Clifton Woodbine, Nicholas Hamilton, Kevaughn Isaacs, and Shaquille Dyer.

Reggae Boyz coach, Theodore Whitmore is investing a lot in this squad, the former player, saying his charges upcoming matches have huge significance to their World Cup bid.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” the coach had said.

Whitmore was speaking to stake holders within the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), asking for as much support as they could possibly muster.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran a blinding final 50 to win the 400 metres inside the Charlety Stadium at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.

McPherson clocked 51.11 seconds to claim the Diamond League one-lap event ahead of the United States’s Kendall Ellis, who was timed in 51.21.

Another US athlete, Shakima Wimbley, was third in 51.50.

McPherson, coming off the final bend was not in the frame for a medal but found an extra gear over the last 70 metres, advancing from fourth to storm past Ellis, who was also moving past Wimbley.

The strong finish from Ellis was impressive but McPherson showed real heart, making sure her lane seven assignment counted for nothing.

The United States’ Phyllis Francis was a disappointing fourth in 51.56, while the Netherland’s Lisanne de Witte was fifth in 51.83.

Botswana’s Christine Botlogetswe, 52.02, France’s Deborah Sananes, 52.04, and her countrywoman Amandine Brossier, 53.29, rounded out the field.

Elaine Thompson, despite putting together consistent wins over 100 metres this season, believes she is still not at 100 per cent just yet.

Thompson made it five wins from as many starts over the shortest sprint on Saturday when she blew away the challenge of the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou to stop the clock at 10.98 seconds.

While the time wasn’t as quick as the heady 10.73 she clocked earlier this season, the performance was dominant and the 2016 Olympic champion may be looking like a favourite for a 2019 World Championship title.

Thompson is staying calm though and going through the process to ensure she is at peak when she gets to Doha.

"It's still five weeks to Doha so it's all preparation at this stage," the 27-year-old Thompson said.

"I'm not 100 percent yet because it's all about the world championships. It's very important to put races like this in because it was a strong field."

Despite saving something for the finish, Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was pipped by a well-timed late sprint from the United States’ Hanna Green during their 800-metre Diamond League meeting in Paris on Saturday. 

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson continues to look unbeatable over 100 metres lately, easing to her latest victory at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday. 

Jamaican triple jumper, Shanieka Ricketts, is still in search of the elusive 15-metre mark after a fourth-place finish at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.

The triple jump was won by Brazil’s Yulimar Rojas, who got out to 15.05 metres and was the only athlete over the mark.

The next three jumpers were all bunched up, with Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea ending second with a hop, skip and a jump of 14.75 metres.

Third was the United States’ Keturah Orji with 14.72, a personal best.

That personal best came with Orji’s final jump, giving her third place ahead of Ricketts by just a centimeter.

Ricketts’ coach and husband Kerrylee Ricketts said his charge was now working on her landing because 15 metres was not far away were she to get that right.

Another Jamaican, Kimberly Williams, finished further down the field in sixth with a leap of 14.45 metres.   

Waterhouse goalscoring hero Andre Fletcher has been very philosophical about the task his team has ahead of them when they go to Costa Rica next week. 

Reigning Scotiabank Concacaf League champion CS Herediano of Costa Rica grabbed a slim edge in its 2019 SCL Round of 16 series with a key away goal against Jamaica’s Waterhouse in a 1-1 draw on Thursday night at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. 

On Wednesday, the second FIFA-Concacaf Coach Educators’ Course (CEC), hosted by the Concacaf Development Department, came to a successful conclusion in Curacao.

The course took place from August 17-21 with attendees from the following 12 Member Associations: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and host Curacao.

A total of 19 coach educators participated in the event whose purpose was to continue the long-term progressive development and mentoring of coach educators in Concacaf’s member associations, for capacity building and self-reliance.

The program also provided an opportunity for active continuous professional development (CPD) through the sharing of new coach education methodologies and processes.

The CEC is a continuation of the Concacaf Train the Trainer Program (T3P) which focuses on the delivery of the Concacaf D license. As a prerequisite to registration, all participants had to successfully complete the Concacaf Train the Trainer Program (T3P) and delivered at least one Concacaf D License course in his/her Member Association.

Among the highlights of the five-day course were sessions on theory and on-field situations related to the Concacaf C License, with topics including Coach Educator-Profiles & Roles, Adult-Learning Principles and Assessments (Formative and Summative).

FIFA Senior Manager of Coaching and Player Development Mohamed Basir conducted the course, along with support from FIFA/Concacaf Coach Educators Anton Corneal (Trinidad and Tobago) and Vinimore Blaine (Grenada/Jamaica).

Notable attendees included FIFA Head of Coaching and Player Development Branimir Ujevic, FIFA Regional Technical Consultant Lenny Lake and Concacaf Development Manager Etienne Siliee.

Waterhouse of Jamaica will be the first team to take a crack at reigning Scotiabank Concacaf League champion CS Herediano of Costa Rica when the two sides meet in the first leg of their 2019 SCL Round of 16 series on Thursday night at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Caribbean club is making its maiden voyage in the SCL and will be relying on Andre Fletcher and Keithy Simpson to handle the goalscoring duties.

Both Fletcher and Simpson tallied two goals in Waterhouse’s second place finish at the 2019 Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship.

The SCL is familiar territory for Herediano, who took home the crown in the 2018 edition by showcasing a dazzling brand of attacking football, combined with solid defensive play.

The hot boot at present for the Ticos belongs to Francisco Rodriguez, who has three goals in his last two Costa Rican Apertura 2019 matches. Another threat is Jose Guillermo Ortiz, who has two goals this season and scored in last year’s SCL.

West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

The Reggae Boyz will kickstart their Nations League group stage effort on Friday against Antigua and Barbuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on the island’s north coast.

The game will be played on September 6, leaving the Reggae Boyz, who last played in the Gold Cup, ending their campaign in the semi-finals, with little turn-around time before their game against Guyana on September 9.

The team will leave the island September 7 for that fixture.

Coach of the Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore, is under no illusions about how important these games are, expressing those sentiments to key executives of the Jamaica Football Federation just recently.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” he said.

Whitmore was appealing to the executive members for support in the next few months, saying even after that, all international fixtures took on significance.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Rule changes in the region, mean that only the top six teams will be allowed to play in qualifiers for a direct place in the World Cup.

The teams finishing outside of that top six will play for FIFA’s half-spot, meaning they will play against each other for the right to play against the team that finishes fourth from the top-six.

That game will be played in a home-and-away format and will determine another fixture of the same nature against a team from another region. Those two will then play for a World Cup berth.

The hexagonal will feature 10 games for each team, beginning in September.

There will also be games in October and November this year, before a restart in March of 2021. The games conclude in September of 2021, just over a year before the World Cup.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not taking seriously, an email which purported there was an imminent threat to the Indian cricket team currently in the West Indies on tour.

The Indian cricket team has already gone through three T20 internationals and three One Day Internationals in the Caribbean, with the first match of a Test series set for Antigua on August 22.

The BCCI have contacted authorities in Antigua regarding the threat and will be beefing up security, though the threat is being viewed as a hoax.

“We have briefed the home ministry and shared the email. The embassy in Antigua has also been contacted and briefed. The Mumbai police has also been informed and the security of the Indian team in the West Indies has been beefed up," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had told Indian media.

Despite being given clearance to compete for a spot at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics, Jamaican hurdler Danielle Williams remains in the hunt for a Diamond League trophy.

A Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) decision had deemed Williams ineligible to compete for a spot at this year’s World Championships after a false start at the country’s national trials, however, there was still a window for the athlete to make the team to Doha had she earned an automatic spot via winning the Diamond League.

Williams then broke the national record and is unbeaten over the 100-metre hurdles since that time. Her 12.32-second clocking meant she lead the world, putting the JAAA in some amount of discomfort.

However, earlier this week, another JAAA release said the athlete would be contemplated since her disqualification in the event, could not be counted since the race was deemed null and void after subsequent attempts at re-running it.

That being said, Williams’ time would suggest she is a shoe-in for a place on the team the JAAA said would be picked based on IAAF-ranking at the time of selection.

Williams leads the world rankings with 1385 points while Megan Tapper with 1263, Janeek Brown with 1257, and Yanique Thompson with 1202 are the next highest-ranked Jamaicans.

Should Williams earn an automatic place, Thompson, who for the moment is out of a place at the World Championships could be headed to Doha as well.

Still, Williams coach, Lennox Graham has come out to say, the 2015 World Champion would still be taking aim at the Diamond League Trophy.

“The focus of our season doesn’t change. Once the issue happened, we had made a conscious decision to focus on the things that we can control  and what we were in control of at the time was contractually agreed to already, running in the Diamond League and getting all the points you can and getting into the final and try to win. This decision extends her season so that’s the effect that this will have on it,” Graham had said in an interview with Radio Jamaica.

The Diamond League moves to Birmingham tomorrow where Williams is again down to compete.

Former Jamaica high school star, Christopher, Taylor is back on the track after a hamstring injury had forced him into aborting his season and plans to go to the World Championships later this year.

The 400-metre athlete, who got injured during preparations for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championship, quit school right after and turned pro, before going to the United States to join the Tumbleweed Tack Club in .

Today, Taylor turned up in Belgium and on his first outing back on the track, looked strong, leading his 400-metre event at the Meeting voor Mon Leuven (Flanders Cup) from blocks to tape to win in 45.62 seconds, a season’s best.

Canada’s Graeme Thompson was well beaten, finishing second in 46.43, while France’s Thomas Jordier was third in 47.01.

The field was rounded out by the Netherlands Dobber Jochem (47.14) Spain’s Echeverry Andres (47.38), Canada’s Austin Cole (47.43), France’s Gilles Biron (47.90) and Michael Rossaert (49.43).

Taylor holds personal bests of 10.11 in the 100m, which equals the national junior record, 20.35 for the 200m and 44.88 for the 400m, the fastest-ever by a Jamaican at the junior level.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's Candice McLeod clocked 53.63 for second place in the B-race of the women's 400m.  Yasmin Liverpool of Great Britain easily won in 53.03.

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