Thursday, September 18, 2008

Barnes Appointed Jamaica Coach

Former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes has been named as the new coach of the Jamaica national team.

The 44-year-old, who was born in Kingston, will take up duties in November after agreeing a one-year deal with the Jamaica Football Federation.

Barnes takes over from Brazilian Rene Simoes, who was sacked as technical director last week.

Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) captain Horace Burrell said: "The board of directors of the JFF have approved the appointment of John Barnes, former England international, as the head coach of the national senior team, commencing November 1st, 2008.

"The board have approved his appointment for a period of one year, which will be up for review, and possibly renewal."

The post is Barnes' first job in management since an ill-fated spell in charge of Celtic in 1999-2000.

During his playing days, Barnes was long tipped for a career as a manager but since leaving Parkhead he has concentrated largely on media work.

Burrell believes his appointment will also help increase the profile of the Jamaican side.

"When you are involved in international football you need an individual with international stature. Having a coach of international repute opens a number of opportunities for our national team," he said.

"Many countries will invite you to play friendlies only because of the image and reputation of your coach.

"When an icon like John Barnes becomes the coach of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz' team, immediately the international spotlight will shine on Jamaica in every single aspect of the sport."

Barnes lived in Jamaica until his teens when his father, who served in the armed forces, was posted to England.

He began his playing career with Watford before going on to achieve stardom in a Liverpool side he helped to two league titles. He finished with spells at Newcastle and Charlton.

Former Hull and Tranmere midfielder Theodore Whitmore has been named interim coach for next month's World Cup crucial qualifiers against Mexico and Honduras. He will then stay on as Barnes' assistant.

Burrell said Jamaica will select their strongest squad for the upcoming matches, including Hull's on-loan Wigan striker Marlon King, who was excluded by Simoes.

Source: IrishTimes.Com - 11v11.Com

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