Former England international John Barnes has been named as the new manager of Jamaica.
The move comes after the dismissal of Brazilian Rene Simoes as the Jamaica Football Federation’s technical director following defeats to Mexico and Honduras in World Cup qualifiers.
Barnes, born in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, is due to take up his new role in November after signing a one-year contract.
It will be the 44-year-old’s first management post since a brief spell as manager of Scottish club Celtic in 1999-2000.
Jamaica’s two recent defeats have left the ‘ReggaeBoyz’, who qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France, bottom of the four-team CONCACAF Group Two.
“This was an opportunity for me to get back into football at a coaching level, which I love doing,” Barnes told Setanta Sports News.
“Managing Jamaica is not the same as managing England. But football is football, you’ve got to motivate your players, you’ve got to get them organised and to try and win football matches.”
Barnes added the revival in form of Central American nations was having an impact on Jamaica.
“If you look at the emergence of the Caribbean players who are coming to England and Europe, they have improved.
“What’s going against the Caribbean teams is the re-emergence of the Central American teams, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. They went through a lull in the 1990s, which meant Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica came to the fore.”
Now Barnes hopes he can call on the significant number of Premier League players with Jamaican connections.
“We know about the Jamaican players – Ricardo Fuller, Ricardo Gardner, Luton Shelton, Marlon King.
“There are a lot of players here in England who we are aware of. The Jamaica players who play in England probably make up three quarters of the team.”