JFF to roll out major grassroots programme

By September 12, 2018

The Jamaica Football Federation is looking to unearth developing young talent in a new grassroots programme they expect to launch in the coming weeks.

The players are to come from about 50 selected schools across the island.

Under the programme that is awaiting the blessing of the world governing body, FIFA,  the JFF expects to also certify coaches who have been preparing young players without the required badges.

JFF President Michael Ricketts made the revelation during a recent interview with SportsMax.TV.

“We have a programme that will start in a few weeks which is a CONCACAF Grassroots Programme, which will be among selected schools,” Ricketts said. “More than 50 schools will be selected by the JFF. We have submitted to FIFA a comprehensive grassroots programme and we are hopeful.

“We had actually invited our two development officers – Marlon Greene and Jordan Victoire – they looked at the proposal and they were very excited.”

Under the programme, each parish will be divided into zones and players from each zone will be brought into a central pool, from which the best will be selected for further development, Ricketts explained. “Take my parish, Clarendon for example. Say we have three zones, a north, south and central. We would have three facilitators and over six weeks you look at those under 12s that you have then you bring 30 or 40 of them into the centre and we go with those for eight of 10 weeks.

“Each parish would have the same format and at the end of that we take the best 40 or 50, start keeping them at the centre which we hope will be opened on the 16th of November then we will start having them housed there, supervised by our technical department and we start our under-12 programme from there.”

As it relates to the coaches, Ricketts said the JFF will use the opportunity to get grassroots coaches properly certified.

“We did an audit when we just came into office and we were made aware that over 1200 12 and under schools were being coached by persons without any kind of certification,” he said.

“We have had discussions with GC Foster College and with the Institute of Sports and certainly, on a phased basis, we will have these persons certified because it is wrong to start with persons who have no certification. It’s a recipe for disaster."

He expressed confidence that the proposal will get the required support from FIFA.

“We are working on it and in short order, I am certain we will get a positive response from FIFA. Then we roll out our brand new grassroots programme because we do believe that it is so important.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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