Coaching changes highlight topsy-turvy year for football administration
IN 2022, the Reggae Boyz, for the fourth time in their history had three coaches in the space of 12 months.
The first casualty was long-serving coach Theodore Whitmore, who was actually disposed in December of 2021 after a disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign.
He was replaced by another former Reggae Boy, Paul Hall, for the remainder of the qualifiers but Hall failed to gain the full confidence of the Jamaican public and stakeholders.
His ties with Queens Park Rangers also made a long-term arrangement difficult and in September, the federation closed the door on renewing his term, hiring current coach Heimer Hallgrimsson of Iceland in his stead.
Merron Gordon, who first came in as Whitmore’s assistant in 2021, remained as assistant under Hall and now Hallgrimsson. He will work alongside Swedish coach John Wall as Hallgrimsson’s assistant.
The Reggae Girlz, who secured back-to-back qualification to the World Cup, also had a change in coach after an embattled Vin Blaine was forced to resign after players signed a letter to Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, demanding Blaine be replaced because of coaching, communication and organisational concerns.
Lorne Donaldson, who assisted Hue Menzies during the Girlz historic qualification in 2018, was handed the reigns and he successfully guided the team through qualification in July, even without coming to an agreement on his contract with the JFF.
In October, Donaldson accepted terms and signed off on a one-year deal.
In January, Xavier Gilbert returned as coach of the national u20 girls, replacing Donaldson after he was elevated to senior team coach.
In June, former national players Tashawna Vincent was handed the under-15 girls job, with Alicia James as her assistant. The duo had a tough debut at Concacaf Girls U15 Championship in July.