Digicel Caribbean Football ambassador, John Barnes named new Reggae Boyz coach
Wednesday, September 17; Kingston, Jamaica: The JFF announced yesterday, the appointment of former England International and Jamaican born, John Barnes as the new National Coach for the Senior Football Team. John Barnes will take up official duties on November 1 and will be in charge of the preparation of the national team for the Digicel Caribbean Cup (DCC) between December 1 to 15, the CONCACAF Gold Cup scheduled for June 2009, and the Final Round of World Cup Qualifiers in 2009, should Jamaica advance to this stage of the competition, the JFF will review Barnes' contract following the afore-mentioned events.
John Barnes commented on his new job as Reggae Boyz coach: "I am really excited about this and I am honored to be given the opportunity. I really do believe in the Jamaican players and look forward to working with the Reggae Boyz.
"Having worked in the Caribbean with the Digicel Kick Start Clinics, I know the talent that is there. I am looking forward to not only working with senior players but also the U-20's who participated in the clinics."
Barnes played professional football for Watford, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic in the Premier league and League Championship. He made 409 appearances for Liverpool scoring 108 goals. He was voted Football Writers' Association Player of the Year 1988 and 1990 and PFA Footballer of the Year 1988. In 1997 he was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen.
In the summer of 1999 Barnes joined Scottish giants Celtic as Head Coach, where he laid the foundations for the club's future success including overseeing the redevelopment of the team with the recruitment of Henrik Larsson among others.
Barnes has since joined Channel 5 (England) and is the channel's principle football presenter and regularly brings his insightful knowledge and understanding of football to television screens around the world.
The JFF also announced that former national player and current Assistant National Coach, Theodore Whitmore will take charge of the very important remaining World Cup Qualifying games at home. Whitmore who was also a part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinic with Barnes will continue as Assistant National Coach to Barnes, following these semi-final round games.
John Barnes will attend the remaining World Cup Qualifying games to observe proceedings as well as lend moral support to Whitmore and the national senior team. He is due to arrive in Jamaica on Wednesday, 8 October for the Mexico game scheduled for Saturday, 11 October, and departs Thursday, 16 October following the Honduras game on Wednesday, 15 October, both games to be played at the National Stadium in Kingston.