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  Football

Downswell bounces back into action

 
Howard Walker, Staff Reporter

WENDELL DOWNSWELL is back in the national programme assisting technical director Velibor 'Bora' Milutinovic, six months after resigning as head coach.

Crenston Boxhill, president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), said Downswell was chosen because of his familiarity with the current crop of players in the Olympic squad.

"The majority of the members of the squad come from the Olympic team so the coach wanted somebody with knowledge of the players in that age group. Of course, Downswell was working with that group for the last couple of years," said Boxhill.

Downswell's future with the squad will be known after the Lunar New Year Cup in Hong Kong. Jamaica are using the tournament as part of their preparations for the Pan-American Games in Brazil in July and the 2008 Olympic Games in China. "Whether he is going to be recommended at the end of the stint (Lunar Hong Kong tournament), I don't know," said Boxhill.

Downswell resigned on August 4, 2006, after a series of poor results with the Reggae Boyz after a promising start as head coach.

He was back in action assisting Milutinovic as the national Under-20 team played the Olympic team on Tuesday.

He was busy taking the players through their paces while assisting Milutinovic with technical equipment as they drafted up various plays on a sketchboard.

"Nothing has officially gone through yet," Downswell told The Gleaner yesterday.

Under Downswell's guidance, Jamaica won the 2005 Digicel Cup, the Caribbean Under-15 title and finished as the top regional team at the CONCACAF Under-20 tournament.

The Under-21 team finished fourth at the CAC Games, which earned them a place in the Pan American Games.

Downswell, a founding member of Reno, was reappointed on September 25 as head coach of the club and has led the Westmoreland-based team to joint second in the National Premier League.

He has vowed, if his club was given $3 million, to take it to the title.

Send comments to howard.walker@gleanerjm.com

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