De Oliveira touts Jamaica’s potential
Brazilian coach Clovis de Oliveira contends that while there has been much improvement to the physical infrastructure of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL), it is no stronger than it was when he was last here over 20 years ago.
Nevertheless, he believes the island is still packed with potential and can reach more junior and senior World Cup tournaments.
"We had a great achievement when coach Rene (Simoes) was here in the land. He brought me to be his assistant, and we were the 36th country in the world at that time and qualified three national teams to the World Cup," he recalled.
"Now they have lost, and I can see not a very strong league, but the league has improved a little bit, mainly the facilities and the grounds."
De Oliveira believes there needs to be a more significant effort towards development from stakeholders for Jamaica to fulfil the true potential in the sport.
"We have to fight to improve. If we could qualify the senior team for France '98 or the under-17 for New Zealand '99, or the under-17 in 2001, we could again qualify.
"So the potential is here, and the message I leave for the fans and people involved in football is that you have got the potential here," he insisted.
"The support in Jamaica has to be fine (good) for the game. Everybody who knows coach Oliveira knows I want the best for this country that I love, and I think it can be very good," he added.
The 68-year-old first came to Jamaica in 1999 as an assistant to Rene Simoes and coach of the national under-17, which he qualified for the youth World Cup in New Zealand.
He later became coach of the senior Reggae Boyz after Simoes' departure in 2000 until 2001.
However, he failed to qualify theReggae Boyz for the 2002 World Cup after taking them to the final round of the Concacaf qualification.