Hardware injury adds to 'Tappa's' woes

Friday, November 16, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — It will be touch and go whether Jamiel Hardware will be available for selection by Coach Theodore Whitmore when the Reggae Boyz take on Suriname in their Concacaf Nations League qualifying game at the Montego Bay Sports Complex tomorrow.

Hardware pulled up in training at Jarrett Park yesterday morning to reduce Whitmore's squad further, but there was some optimism that he could be ready for the game.

Whitmore, obviously not pleased with the situation, given just two training sessions in preparation for the crucial encounter and not the 22-man squad he requested due to supposed “financial constraints” at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), still manages to take away something positive.

“We are expecting a good performance from the players... it is not the best of situations and it is not conducive to what we would want, but we hope for the best come Saturday,” he said.

Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer he requested an earlier start to the camp and 22 players to face the Suriname team that has been in a camp in Florida, prior to their scheduled arrival in the island yesterday.

After a break from their respective clubs, the US-based players, who ended their seasons two weeks ago, would need some time to get back to match fitness, and a lack thereof has present the coaching with a bit of a problem.

“We asked for an earlier camp as we knew the players were out of competition and we wanted them here earlier... not two days before,” said the coach.

“...we lost one player already, Jamiel Hardware, who had a groin issue this morning... (that's why) we wanted an earlier camp, but unfortunately the JFF was not able to give us that due to lack of funds, so we will have just two sessions before the game,” Whitmore lamented.

— Paul Reid

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