JFF Plans to Lock in Paul for the Long ‘Hall’

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts has made it clear that new head coach Paul Hall will be engaged beyond the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and is expected to form part of a technical unit that will lay the foundation for the development of coaches and players.

“It [Hall’s role] is not just the qualifiers,” Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.

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“We are looking long term, so we are going to put programs in place to ensure it’s a long-term exercise. As part of his contractual arrangement he’s going to work closely with the coaches around the country, so we kind of bring them up to par,” Ricketts explained.

The 49-year-old Hall was contracted last week to replace former Head coach Theodore Whitmore who had been on his third stint in the job since 2016.

The executives of the JFF accepted the recommendation of the Technical Committee which voted 5-2 to sack the 1998 World Cup star midfielder because it had lost faith and confidence in his ability to lead the Reggae Boyz to success in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualification.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are currently in sixth place on seven points after eight games in the eight-team final round.

Canada lead the points table with 16, ahead of the United States (15), Mexico (14), Panama (14) and Costa Rica (nine). El Salvador have six points while Honduras (three) bring up the rear.

The top three nations at the end of the qualifying series will progress automatically to the World Cup Finals, while the fourth-place team head to an intercontinental play-off for another shot at the opportunity to reach Qatar.

However, the Reggae Boyz still have an outside chance of advancing and will next face Mexico on January 27 at Kingston’s National Stadium, before journeying to Panama City to face the hosts on January 30.

They then return home to host Costa Rica on February 2.

Hall has served as Whitmore’s assistant coach since June at the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

“I’m confident in him (Hall) doing well, otherwise we wouldn’t have given him this opportunity. When we look at his CV (curriculum vitae) we were impressed and in the interview, he was very positive,” Ricketts told the Jamaican media.

“He is confident he can contribute, and with the quality players he has, he thinks he could do well. He was only disappointed he would be replacing Whitmore, who is someone he believes to be his friend,” Ricketts added.

Hall, as well as former ace striker Deon Burton and robust ex-midfielder Fitzroy Simpson, were the first English-born Jamaican players to join the Rene Simoes-led Reggae Boyz squad in the build-up to the successful France 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign.

He has stints at Portsmouth and Rushden and Diamonds, before making the move into coaching. Hall began his coaching career in 2009 at Coventry City Academy and since 2014 has served as an Under-23 coach before becoming the lead coach for Queens Park Rangers Under-23 team.

He has a Premier League diploma in coaching development and UEFA ‘B’ Level 3 and UEFA ‘A’ coaching certification.

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