Sep 05, 2008 Sports Comments Off on Mexican journalists ejected from Jamaica’s training session
National technical director Rene Simoes, with the help of local supporters, on Wednesday ejected a group of Mexican journalists who were intent on video-taping a Reggae Boyz training session held at Winchester Park, North Street.
The senior Reggae Boyz are preparing for a tough CONCACAF World Cup qualifying game against top team Mexico at the feared Azteca Stadium in Mexico City tomorrow.
Although instructed by team manager Vin Blaine not to video-tape yesterday’s practice, a Mexican cameraman insisted on getting footage of the team mid-way the training session as the players were about to begin a “full field” squad game.
However, the intruder was spotted by Brazilian Simoes, who gave him a verbal lashing while insisting that he leave the St George’s College compound immediately.
Simoes was well backed by a group of local spectators who spotted yet another cameraman upstairs a building at the school and ensured that both men left the venue, along with two reporters whom they had accompanied.
This incident comes against the backdrop of reports out of Mexico on Wednesday that new team coach Sven-Goran Ericksson was a bit nervous about playing the Jamaicans.
“I am a bit worried about them,” Ericksson was reported to have said at a press conference.
“They are strong, tall, robust and powerful. I believe they proved themselves in the draw against Canada. I respect them a lot.”
“I don’t know how prepared they are,” said Ericksson. “But whatever shape they turn up in, we have to win.”
Meanwhile, team captain Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardener watched the training session from the sidelines. The veteran Bolton Wanderers defender was caught icing his groin at the start of the session.
But the former Harbour View player assured journalists that the injury was minor and resting was precautionary. The dreadlocked Gardner said he will be fully fit for the game tomorrow, a claim supported by the technical director.
Meanwhile, Trinidad-based midfielder Woolry Wolfe joined up with the squad yesterday, making experienced midfielder Andy Williams the only player missing from the group.
Williams, who asked for additional time, was however set to arrive in the island on Wednesday evening. Simoes meantime noted that Williams’ late arrival could prevent him from playing a starting role in tomorrow’s important encounter.
The Reggae Boyz were set to host the CONCACAF kingpins at the National Stadium in Kingston tomorrow, but the passage of Hurricane Gustav saw the game being hastily rescheduled for Mexico City, with the approval of the world governing body for the sport, FIFA.
The Jamaicans will depart the island today, a mere 24 hours before the start of the game. But despite this scenario, Simoes was adamant that the team will be ready for the Mexican challenge at the daunting Azteca.
“These players are very understanding of the team’s tactic and positioning… and they are professionals,” he declared on Wednesday.
“… To be able to adjust quickly; that is what makes a player good. So the players and the coaches have to be ready to go out and play the game,” he added.
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