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Mission possible!

WORK TO DO: The Jamaica national team

NEW JAMAICA football director Winfried Schafer is steadfast in his belief that the country can still do the seemingly impossible and qualify for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Despite the Reggae Boyz being bottom of the final CONCACAF group which will determine World Cup finals entrants, with just four games to go, Schafer, 63, has told the Voice of Sport that he is convinced Jamaica can once again grace football’s ultimate showcase with their presence.

Following his three-week whistle-stop tour of England to meet and greet various members of his newly acquired squad, Schafer said: “I’ve been to the country talking to the players to find out why they only have two points from six games.

“I wanted to look them in the eye and ask if they believed that Jamaica could get to the World Cup, if they believed they could win the next game against Panama on September 6. They have all said ‘yes’ and I believe them.”


PALS: Schafer (right) with Horace ‘Captain’ Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation

“Of course I believe we can do it. The players are good enough. I am yet to meet all of them together but they have what it takes. A lot of them are big players; we need to get more free kicks and more players in the opposition’s box.”

Schafer helped Cameroon navigate their way through to the 2002 World Cup and has also been head coach of Thailand.

He will be drawing on all of the experience he’s gleaned to motivate Jamaica. Central to his plan are players based in Europe with reports linking Birmingham City striker Marlon King to a potential international return and Schafer refused to rule anything out.

“Everyone talks about Marlon King in Jamaica. I want to contact him and find out what’s going on. We will see what happens.

“There are good players in England - Jermaine Beckford at Bolton, Rodolph Austin at Leeds United and many more. There are good players who are in the Championship and they are Jamaican, I want to talk to as many as possible.”

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