The St. Vincent and the Grenadines national Under-20 squad (black outfit) in a friendly against Avenues United (photo: Robertson S. Henry)

A Wednesday 18th July, 2018 dated release from General-Secretary Devron Poyer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation stated that “The SVG Under-20 national team will face Jamaica’s Under-23 team in a friendly match late August here in SVG. The event was organised as part of Avenues United’s 50th year celebrations and Awesome Sports International Inc, headed by Renson Haynes.”

In preparing for this encounter, the Jamaica Football Federation last week Thursday August 02, 2018, named an 18-man Under-23 squad, to play two internationals against St Vincent and the Grenadines later this month, August 2018.

According to regional sports programme sportsmax, “The naming of the squad is the second phase of the Jamaica Olympic Association-backed plan to qualify a Jamaican football team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. If successful, it would be the first time Jamaica would have qualified a team for the Olympics.”

The team is expected to depart Jamaica on August 21, and is scheduled to play the first match against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on August 24 with the second match dated for August 26.

The 18-man squad is-: Deshorn Beckford, Javane Brown, Jamoi Topey, Daniel Green, Alex Marshall, Kaheem Parris, Tevin Shaw, Ajeanie Talbot, Ricardo Thomas, Peter Lee Vassell, Jeadine White, Eric Edwards, Chaveny Willis, Ricardo Dennis, Venton Evans, Ray Campbell, Clifton Woodbine, and Shandel Senior.

Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts (right), Jamaica Olympic Association Business Development Manager Kirk Finnkin, and Jamaica Football Federation General-Secretary Dalton Wint share in the announcement of a Jamaican Under-23 squad to play two friendlies against St. Vincent and the Grenadines later this month. (photo: sportsmax)

The Head coach is Donovan Duckie, and will be assisted by Merron Gordon, with Howard Bell as team manager. The team is scheduled to return to Jamaica on August 28.

According to Jamaica Football Federation president Michael Ricketts in announcing the squad: “We’ve got 18 of the best that the coaches have seen and we take a sojourn down to St. Vincent to compete against them, and of course be a part of our preparation process going into the Olympic qualifiers.”

The Jamaica Olympic Association is backing the Olympic qualification programme with J$8-million over three years, and its Business Development Manager Kirk Finnikin says the signs are there that the investment is already bearing fruit.

Sportmax also reported that Finnikin said: “The support that we have provided to date, we are pleased to say, we’re seeing fruit bearing. We want you to continue in that vein. The objective for us is quite simple.

“It is to provide the JFF with the necessary fighting chance to have their team developed and ready for the necessary qualification and ultimately to allow the selected team to perform at their best, and that representation from the JFF will allow that team to perform at the highest level at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”