Jamaican soccer looking towards German engineering

Recently appointed national team coach Winfreid Schafer bringing new look

Jamaica's coach Winfreid Schafer speaks to the media following the team's 3-1 loss to Canada Kamal Hylton/Toronto Observer

Ask anyone about nations that play the most tactically precise soccer, and Germany is likely first on the list.

With its success, other countries have been looking to implement these teachings into their own styles of play for years.

Jamaica’s national team recently adopted the philosophy with the appointment of Winfreid Schafer, a coach with vast experience within Germany as well as internationally with the likes of Cameroon, Thailand and at the club level in United Arab Emirates.

The 64-year-old is clearly confident in the system and is ready to share that knowledge with the small Caribbean nation.

“Who won the World Cup? Germany. Why? Germans have the best fitness, we have the best confidence and best tactical discipline, he said. “These are things you need and this is what I want for my players.”

Jamaica has always been typecast as a fast and strong team, known for raw, natural athleticism but they typically struggle with the complex parts of the game.

Under Schafer, this is looking to change, combining what is second nature to the Jamaican players with a tried and true system.

Looking ahead to the match against Canada (one they would lose), Schafer saw it as a proper test for his players against an opponent that is not only within the CONCACAF region but also roughly at the same level.

“Canada has a new coach, but for a long time they had a German coach, Holger Osieck, who is a friend of mine,” said Schafer.

“Looking at this coach, I see Canada plays a new system using a 4-3-3 formation with three very good midfielders. [Julian] de Guzman used to play in Germany and they also have [Atiba] Hutchinson.

“This is the heart of their team, but we have good players too so it’s going to be an open match.

“We’re probably at the same level or Canada might be a little bit better at the moment and we want to change this over time.”

Jamaica has some meaningful matches on the horizon, including the 2014 Caribbean Cup in November.

This is a tournament the Jamaicans are hosting and acts as qualification for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer, but they’re also looking to right some wrongs stemming from the 2012 Caribbean Cup.

In a group that consisted of a non-recognized FIFA nation in Martinique, as well as Cuba and French Guiana, the Jamaicans shockingly finished dead last and thus failed to make the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time since 2007.

Schafer looks to have instilled a certain level of confidence within a fairly young squad and he’ll be looking to further implement that strong German belief system into his players.

About this article

By: Kamal Hylton
Posted: Sep 10 2014 8:08 pm
Filed under: Soccer Sports