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Waite takes over mantle as Jamaica head coach

PICTURED: Jerome Waite

JEROME WAITE takes the reins over from Theodore Whitmore as Jamaica head coach for back-to-back away friendlies this week.

Assistant head coach Waite has stepped up to the no.1 role whilst Whitmore undertakes negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) over an improved contract following his recent resignation and subsequent public kiss and make up with his employer.

Without Whitmore, Jamaica's Reggae Boyz tackle hosts St. Kitts & Nevis tomorrow, then travel to Antigua to face Antigua & Barbuda for the second time within a month.

Whitmore's last match in charge was a tepid draw in Kingston, their first game on home soil for two years, against Antigua & Barbuda. But Whitmore tore into the team and slammed his squad after the disappointing 1-1 result.

Since then Whitmore grew frustrated by the performance and also that his demands back in February for an improved contract with the JFF originally fell on deaf ears. The result was a shock resignation from the former midfielder.

But Sports Minister Olivia Grange swiftly intervened to smooth things over for the good of the game. She chaired a meeting with the 45-year-old and the JFF, and Whitmore has been promised to be offered an improved - yet undisclosed -contract and was reinstated as Jamaica head coach during the recent meeting. However, he is not involved for these pair of friendlies.

With the squad being uncharacteristically criticised by Whitmore last time, then maybe it will be best for team morale that he is absent for these games.

The squad has been slightly adjusted as it concentrates on players from the island, and will see Donovan Duckie stepping into the shoes of Waite for two friendlies as assistant coach. Those selected will be given a chance to show their silky skills and be part of the set-up once Whitmore returns to his role.

St. Kitts & Nevis are seen as the easier contest of the pair, with the Boyz playing at the Warner Park Football Stadium in Basseterre (8pm ko local time) on Thursday.

And Waite will be aiming to score a win over hosts Antigua & Barbuda, following the previous outing that was less than satisfactory. at the Sir Viv Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound on Saturday (7pm ko local time).

The fact that Whitmore is not involved in these games will not only give the JFF a chance to see what they are missing, but also to cast an eye over Waite as a potential replacement should Whitmore ever play games with them over his contract.

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