Barbados senior national men’s team are hungry for victory when the Jamaica Reggae Boyz visit the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf for the highly anticipated international friendly on Monday, August 20.
The Bajan Tridents returned home a couple days ago after suffering a disappointing 1-0 loss to hosts Belize at the Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro. But the Bajan Tridents and the Reggae Boyz have a history that spans decades, and considering the men in ultra-marine, gold and black were on the losing end in the last two fixtures against Jamaica, Barbados will be out for redemption in front their passionate home fans.
Despite the loss against Belize, BFA technical director Ahmed Mohammed is confident that the team has what it takes to refocus mentally and give a good account on home turf in preparation for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Nations League.
“The team is quite confident, yes, the Belize game was quite a disappointing game in terms of our chances. I mean we had plenty chances, it’s not like we played badly, and the team wasn’t better than us. It is just by luck, sometimes you need the fortune on your side and I mean if you play away [Barbados] and dominate the game for seventy minutes, that just tells you the team [Barbados] is ready for something higher.
“I don’t want to underestimate Jamaica because we know who they are and that we are the underdogs. But we don’t fear, we continue and keep our plan, we keep the system and we play our game. I will make sure they will have a good ninety minutes and we are looking for a positive result. And even though we might be the weaker team on paper, we have home advantage, the team is mentally strong and physically we are good to go,” Mohammed said.
Because it is a friendly match, the head coach does not deem it necessary to change up the Rashad Jules-led team and said he would most likely go with his starting 11 coming out of Belize.
“It is not necessary. At the end of the day it is a friendly and a preparation game and we have a plan. Now it is time to see who fits into the team, who is ready, where we are at and what do we have to work on. So now is a test phase and even though it is a test phase we want to have a little competition. We want to show the Jamaicans that we can play football and dominate the game as well. So nothing will change and we are ready for them,” Mohammed said.
There is a possibility that Barbados’ number one professional goalkeeper Keasel Broome currently based in the United States will be back in front the goal bars.
Mohammed said: “He had a surgery but has gotten the okay to play this game, so he is training hard. So, I am just waiting for the okay from the doctor because the main thing is that he has to be fit for the Nations League because that is where we need him. But besides that, we have good talented goalkeepers on the island as well and the one who is in form and mentally ready is the one that will start.”
Barbados came up against the Jamaicans four years ago in 2014 and lost both international friendly matches. And Jamaica, coached by Theodore Whitmore, will most likely feel confident with that psychological advantage coming into the game with his 20-man squad who were scheduled to play Grenada today in an international friendly at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium in St Georges before departing for Barbados.
Barbados’ full squad for Monday has not yet been finalised but should be completed on Saturday, Mohammed said.