Jamaica Gleaner /
Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Chris Samuda, has described Cavalier’s participation in the Gothia Cup, set for June in Sweden, as “groundbreaking” and “historic” at a press launch held at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) office on Monday.
The JOA boss also praised and encouraged Cavalier Soccer Club for their approach to youth development in recent times.
“Cavalier is breaking ground at a pivotal point in the history of the sport (football) in Jamaica. This (Gothia Cup) competition will be the first time a Jamaican team will enter the arena of gladiators at that level.
“Cavalier earned their right to be there and participate by performance. So we (JOA) are supporting Cavalier because we believe they are on the right path, because central to any development process must be young people,” he said.
“You train young people but you need to give them the opportunity … and this is what Cavalier is doing. They have a structure that clearly is working and they are giving opportunities to young footballers to play in an international forum,” he said
He added that people are always stressing youth development, but said if we are to achieve the objective of another World Cup berth we must begin investing in our youth.
“Cavalier has opened doors for other Jamaican clubs, and in addition, them [going to Gothia Cup] is a part of developing footballers to go further in their careers. They may go to the competition and an agent spots them and they can take it from there,” he said.
Cavalier becomes the first Jamaican team to receive invitation to the global tournament, which takes places from June 15-21, and Samuda sees this as another step in their continued efforts to develop the club’s young players.
“What is really at stake is the development of Jamaican players and them getting the requisite experience. This competition will help to continue the process of developing players, and the best way they will develop is by playing teams that are unfamiliar, seeing people who speak different languages, and playing in adverse temperatures. If they can cope in those situations they will be better players for the future and for the national team,” he told The Gleaner .