Schafer’s struggles

first_img LACKING QUALITY Former Rivoli and Waterhouse coach Calvert Fitzgerald was critical of the overseas-born players in the squad, arguing that they lacked real quality and add nothing to the team. “The Jamaica national team is mainly made up of players from England who play in the lower leagues. A lot of them not even start in the championship. So it simply means they could not be all that good. None of them can land a contract out of England,” he said. Powell has been singled out for his performances but Rudolph Speid, the former Kingston and St Andrew Football Association president and current technical director at Red Stripe Premier league campaigner Cavalier,was a little more forgiving. “The public is against Alvas not for his playing. Everyone is looking that he walked out of the team and got back without a minute suspension, but I don’t think he is a bad player. He has been found wanting, but he is young,” he reasoned, before giving his assessment of the team’s chances in their remaining two group games. “Panama has everything in their favour. They have the points, they have the goal difference, they are at home and physically, we cannot bully them, so it’s for the coach to choose the right tactics,” Speid said. “We will definitely need help from other teams, most notable from Costa Rica, and we have to be perfect in our two games.” Powell has also come under pressure for his lapses defensively, but Speid put his mistakes down to inexperience. Schafer was contacted yesterday, but declined to comment. Meanwhile, Jamaica sits third in their group on four points – three less than Panama, where they will travel to on September 2; and six behind leaders Costa Rica. Haiti, who will play in Kingston on September 6, are in last place on one point. Reggae Boyz head coach Winfried Schafer and his technical staff have been given a failing grade by local coaches, after the team’s unconvincing showing in recent times, underlined by poor results in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica. Defensive weakness, incorrect tactics, apparent discontent in the camp and the presence of what some have called substandard overseas-born players, are among the major issues mentioned. It has been suggested that the return of defender Alvas Powell to the fold – unpunished, after walking out on the team in the Gold Cup – is a cause of the contention within the squad. The team started well against ‘Los Ticos’ in the first game last week Friday, playing the best football they have played in some time and taking a 1-0 lead into the break. Costa Rica secured the equaliser for a 1-1 draw before outclassing the Jamaicans 3-0 in the reverse fixture. Former national assistant coach Bradley Stewart questioned some of Schafer’s choices, in particular his decision to keep defender Adrian Mariappa on the field in last Friday’s draw. “Mariappa got injured and the best thing he (Schafer) should have done is take Mariappa out and put in Jermaine Taylor, as a fit Taylor is as good as a fit Mariappa,” he said. “If you are a quality team you are expected to win your games at home, things are against you when you travel. It is always more difficult to beat a team at their yard that you cannot beat at your yard,” he stated in a grim outlook on the team’s chances to advance.last_img read more

Matthews Ridge to Baramita road nearing completion

first_imgResidents traversing the Matthews Ridge to Baramita Road, in Region One (Barima-Waini), will have a smoother ride as a massive road rehabilitation project advances.The rehabilitation of the approximately 40 kilometres of roadway commenced in March this year and was expected to wrap up before the end of the year.A $318 million contract was awarded to A and S General Construction Incorporated for the rehabilitation of the laterite road. The acting foreman for the project, Vincent Pancham said to date the work was 50 per cent complete. He explained that prior to the works, the road was covered with heavy bush and was inaccessible, which required crucial work.Pancham explained, “If it weren’t for the weather, the work would have been completed. The scope of works includes excavation of the road, the establishment of the carriageway which is 24 feet and the placement of laterite on the road. We also had to do the drains and shoulders of the road and widen it.”The unpredictable weather patterns continue to be a challenge for hinterland road projects. As a result, the contract for the rehabilitation of the Matthews Ridge to Baramita roadway was extended to eight months from the original six. Pancham assured that providing there was favourable weather, the works would be completed in four weeks.“We’ve had other unforeseen challenges which were dealt with. The laterite while accessible was difficult to dig up. Our excavator was occupied for one month getting the laterite. Bridges were also a challenge: we replaced the beams of the 26 bridges along the route to cross them. Nevertheless, we do expect to complete the works within four weeks, as long as there is good weather,” the acting foreman is quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.Several other rehabilitation projects are ongoing in Region One, including the upgrade of roads in central Port Kaituma to concrete structures. This project is being executed by International Imports and Supplies, and the main access road from the airstrip to Port Kaituma is being completed by KP Thomas.InvestigationOnly last week, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had expressed deep concern over the construction of major road projects in Regions One and Four. He simultaneously called for the Auditor General’s Office to investigate them, as the contracts may contain requirements to enable acts of corruption.Jagdeo said these projects included road works taking place along Port Kaituma and Mabaruma roads in Region One.Some $213.2 million was awarded to KP Thomas and Sons in May 2017 for repairs to the Citrus Grove Main Road, Port Kaituma, Region One. Meanwhile, a $110.2 million contract for the Mabaruma road project was awarded to Mohammed Ramzanalli Khan Construction. This project entails the installation of approximately 3500 feet of concrete road or rigid pavements and drains within the community.“We believe that the tender process was tampered with so as to inflate the contracts by hundreds of thousands of dollars in these road projects,” the Opposition Leader said.However, the Opposition Leader explained that these sums are hidden through a different form of corruption involving the layer of the asphalt. According to him, some forms of corruption are enabled through contracts and others through the force account.last_img read more