Sat | Sep 18, 2021

The full Lowe down

Reggae Boyz defender reflects on Japan tour, upcoming assignments

Published:Wednesday | June 16, 2021 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Damion Lowe (right) and Panama’s Gabriel Torres battle for the ball during the first half of a Concacaf Gold Cup match in Philadelphia in 2019. Jamaica won 1-0.
Jamaica’s Damion Lowe (right) and Panama’s Gabriel Torres battle for the ball during the first half of a Concacaf Gold Cup match in Philadelphia in 2019. Jamaica won 1-0.

The Reggae Boyz’s tour of Japan might have ended on a disappointing note with their 4-0 loss to the hosts’ Olympic team, but as far as national defender Damion Lowe is concerned, the exercise was an overall positive experience for the Jamaicans...

The Reggae Boyz’s tour of Japan might have ended on a disappointing note with their 4-0 loss to the hosts’ Olympic team, but as far as national defender Damion Lowe is concerned, the exercise was an overall positive experience for the Jamaicans ahead of important assignments this year.

Lowe, who pointed out that the national team rarely gets an extended period to train together because of the usually short FIFA international window and club commitments, underlined that their two weeks together helped the players to bond and develop a better understanding with each other.

“It is the first in a long while outside of a tournament that we are having a camp for such a long period. Players got to train with each other and got to build a bond with the coach,” said Lowe.

“It is a big group and players needed to get experience. Players are coming in that are new and not used to playing with each other. So it is work in progress and it was a training camp that we got to focus on stuff that we want to work on to carry over in the Gold Cup, especially with what was going on before (contract negotiations) and the tension it caused,” added Lowe. “So it was good bringing the family together and I was happy that it was able to happen.”

The Jamaicans were initially scheduled to play three games, but the first match against Japan’s senior team was cancelled after a number of players encountered COVID-19 related documentation issues and were not able to travel to Japan in time, meaning there was not enough Jamaican players available for that contest.

They instead opened the tour with a 1-1 draw with Serbia, before signing off with their defeat to the hosts’ Olympic squad.

MOVING FORWARD

However, Lowe noted that the team has already put the result behind them and is now focused on successful Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying campaigns.

“The Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers are the main emphasis right now, so we are not going to dwell on a friendly too long. The coaches will review the tapes and analyse the performances, and we will put that behind us and move forward,” Lowe stated.

“We know the players that we have now. Some players were absent, some new players came in, but the coach got a chance to look at them, so it is now up to the coach to pick his best squad to go out and make our country proud,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lowe, who received largely positive reviews following his display in a defensive midfield role against Serbia, revealed that he is being encouraged to continue playing in the position, even though coach Theodore Whitmore stated publicly that he does not intend to use the defender in the position going forward.

“The day before (Serbia game), the coach told me he needed a destroyer in midfield and said I would be the one going in there. It was no problem as when I was younger, I used to play that role a lot at Harbour View,” said Lowe.

“I was happy with how I performed. The fans loved it, my father, my mom and my management team all loved it and are encouraging me to stay there. It will be hard for me but I have always played well for the national team and every time I play, I want us to get better and better,” he added.

Lowe, who made his senior national team debut in 2016, has 22 caps for his country.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com