Winfred Schafer can arguable go down as one of Jamaica's best ever coaches, and should he win the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday he will be the best coach Jamaica has ever seen in my books. Schafer, who had mixed results when he took over the job from Theodore Whitmore two years ago, has written his name in the history of Jamaican coaches by defeating USA at home and reaching the final of the Gold Cup for the very first time.
The players respect and believe in Schafer, something you can tell from the spirited performances they gave at the Copa America and continue to give at the Gold Cup. He knows his players and what they are capable of. Once they get it right then they will get the job done.
Darren Mattocks who had not scored for a long time for Jamaica was still Schafer's favourite to start upfront with Giles Barnes, and both players scored against USA, the match the Jamaicans went on to win 2-1. That goes to show how confident he is in the players he has, he did not go looking for other options.
The German born coach who has won the African Cup of Nations with Cameron in 2002 and then was the Runner-Up in the Confederations Cup in 2003, has added to his resume, the Caribbean Cup that he won with Jamaica earlier this year.
Like the players, I have the same trust in Schafer. The 65 year old has a good crop of players and their performances are attracting numerous clubs in Europe and elsewhere.
Since the Schafer era began, I have not heard a case of players breaking curfews (players being out when they should be in their hotel room resting). This tells you the respect the players have for Schafer. The next time the Reggae Boys play at the National Stadium I am expecting nothing but a sold out crowd, and I am sure more quality teams will want to play against us now.
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