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Hubert Lawrence | Time to play ball

first_imgWhen the World Cup kicks off in less than two weeks, a painful truth will land home once again. Jamaica won’t be there, and the implication is that we can’t play football well enough to be there. It will hit like a ton of bricks. Twenty years ago, through a combination of inspired coaching, committed play, unprecedented funding, a timely infusion of professionalism from Paul Hall, Fitzroy Simpson and Deon Burton and a slight opening in the qualifying requirements, the Reggae Boyz were standing side by side with the globe’s elite teams in France. It was brilliant. To top everything off, the Boyz didn’t just make up numbers – they scored goals and won a game, 2-1 over Japan. That was 20 years and five World Cups ago. It’s beginning to look like a stroke of luck. In this context, the recent football town hall meeting is a step forward. Curse the media all you want, but there are times when it is the only entity that can pull stakeholders together. That seems to be something football dearly needs. If Jamaica is to ever qualify for the World Cup again, all the stakeholders need to play to the tune of a coordinated plan. The next step will be for those who attended the town hall meeting to peel off into working groups whose duty is to come back with reports and proposals to advance the state of the game in Jamaica. The elements of success aren’t a mystery. Better playing fields are a basic requirement, allied to better coaching at lower age groups to facilitate the development of sound technique. The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) think tank absolutely must recommend a playing style that suits the Jamaican footballer, and that must guide national coaches at every level. My own uneducated recommendations on this matter of playing style are a matter of record. It’s time to fall out of love with tiki-taka in its pure Barcelona form and time to play speed-based counter-attacking football on a base of solid defence. After all, speed is what we have. This speed-based approach helped Jamaica qualify for men’s and women’s hockey at this year’s Central American and Caribbean Games. It’s worth a try in football. The experts in this new dialogue can take that ball and run with it. Hopefully, with everyone in the Reggae Boyz bus together now, Jamaica can put its foot on the accelerator and build a slate of teams that can hold their own in world football. Delay is disaster. When the World Cup begins, that elemental truth – that we aren’t world class in football – will again hit home. Thankfully, there’s a silver lining. Together we can make our football improve. – Hubert Lawrence correctly picked Germany to win the World Cup in The Sunday Gleaner of July 13, 2014.last_img read more

Paris release hurts Baca

first_img(213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In the wake of Sheriff Lee Baca’s decision to defy a judge’s order and let Paris Hilton out of jail early, a poll released Monday found more than 50 percent of Los Angeles County residents are dissatisfied with the sheriff’s leadership, management and judgment. The KRC Research poll of 303 adults from June 12-14, conducted at the behest of the 8,000-member Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, found 68 percent thought he showed poor judgment in releasing Hilton to home confinement and 80 percent believe people with money, power or celebrity get better treatment from the Sheriff’s Department than the average citizen. The survey follows a similar one taken prior to the Hilton brouhaha in which nearly 70 percent of sheriff’s deputies said they disapproved of Baca’s management of the department and only 14 percent said they would support the sheriff for re-election. “Taken together, these surveys are disturbing,” ALADS President Steve Remige said. “The message to the sheriff from the people he serves and from the deputies who serve under him is that he needs to do a lot better. We are willing to work with the sheriff to help improve the department and rescue his reputation.” The survey surprised political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. Baca was re-elected to his third term last June with 67 percent of the vote. “When it’s a private poll, I’m very skeptical of taking the results at face value,” Jeffe said. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said ALADS has historically been “entrenched” against sheriff’s management, and this appears to be a publicity stunt to raise the union’s stature. “Perhaps it’s time for an internal look at some new leadership (at ALADS),” Whitmore said. troy.anderson@dailynews.com last_img read more

Derby and Hull lose at home and Woodgate gets first win as Middlesbrough boss

first_img GREAT NEWS Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Leeds lose at Fulham, West Brom held, Charlton’s winless run continues Sheffield Wednesday moved top of the SkyBet Championship after a 1-0 victory over Luton.Kadeem Harris scored the only goal in the 54th minute as the Owls overtook Yorkshire rivals Leeds – for 24 hours at least – and there was further pain for Luton as Martin Cranie was carried off on a stretcher in the second half.Derby could also have gone above Marcelo Bielsa’s side with a victory but they lost 2-1 at home to Bristol City as new manager Phillip Cocu’s stuttering start to the season continued. Bannan penalty helps Sheffield Wednesday strengthen grip on play-off place ROUND-UP stalemate LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS Hull defender MacDonald given all-clear after battle with bowel cancer Former Rams forward Andreas Weimann opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Josh Brownhill added the second on the stroke of half-time to lift the Robins to fourth in the fledgling table as Jack Marriot’s 85th-minute goal came too late for the hosts.Birmingham secured their first home win over Barnsley in 11 years as Lukas Jutkiewicz scored for the fourth successive league match at St Andrews, a feat he last achieved in October.Jutkiewicz’s 69th-minute header was added to by Alvaro Gimenez as Blues returned to winning ways after taking one point from their last two matches.Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray had won more league victories, seven, against Hull than any other team heading into their clash at the KCOM Stadium and he extended that with a 1-0 win courtesy of Derrick Williams’ first goal since since April 2017. Britt Assombalonga scored for Middlesbrough EFL result goalless Cardiff and Preston play out stalemate in Championship early kick-off 1 Getty Images – Getty Rovers, who hit the woodwork three times in the first half, were helped by Jarrod Bowen’s second failure in his last four penalties in the 13th minute.Jonathan Woodgate recorded his first league win as Middlesbrough manager as Wigan’s woeful record at the Riverside continued.Britt Assombalonga headed home the only goal in the 23rd minute as Latics, who have now failed to score in their last four matches, made it six games without a league goal on Teessidelast_img read more