U-15 Championship has Jamaica’s Lawrence thinking of bright future

Jamaica head coach Aaron Lawrence (left) and team captain Dwayne Atkinson celebrate during the Reggae Boyz’s win over Trinidad & Tobago in the CONCACAF U-15 Boys’ Championship on August 17, 2017, in Bradenton, Florida, USA.

KINGSTON, Jamaica --- Jamaica captured seventh place in the 2017 CONCACAF Boys’ U-15 Championship thanks to an 8-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday at IMG Academy.

It was Jamaica’s first victory in the competition, after completing the group stage with a 0W-0D-3L record. The Reggae Boyz showed improvement throughout its stay in Brandenton, Florida, USA, highlighted by a narrow 1-0 loss to eventual-champion Mexico in the last Group A game.

Head coach Aaron Lawrence says that the experience offered many positives for his side.

“For many members of our squad, it was their first time playing outside Jamaica and even playing against international opposition,” said the 47-year-old, who appeared in one match for Jamaica in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. “Despite the early exit, I believe we did our best against the likes of Mexico, Panama and Honduras and pushed them.

“It was nice to end our campaign with a win over our Caribbean neighbours Trinidad & Tobago, so that is a positive. Moving forward I believe we have a good young core of players to work with going into U-17 and U-20 cycles.”

As well as his duties with the U15s, Lawrence also coaches Sandals FC in the Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League. He guided the club to the top tier for the first time in its history.

“I look forward to the next chapter of my coaching career with Sandals FC,” Lawrence finished. “I believe we have a group of players willing to work hard and that is all I want from them. Similarly for my U-15 team at national level, they are doing that. Yes, all we need to work on now is our finishing moving forward and certainly in CONCACAF we will make strides.”


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