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Sep 17, 2008

Barnes agrees one-year deal to coach Jamaica

Former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes has been named as the new coach of the Jamaica national team.

The 44-year-old, who was born in Kingston, will take up his duties in November after agreeing a one-year deal with the Jamaica Football Federation.

Barnes takes over from Brazilian Rene Simoes, who was sacked as technical director last week.

JFF president Horace Burrell said: ''The board of directors of the JFF have approved the appointment of John Barnes, former England international, as the head coach of the national senior team, commencing November 1, 2008.

''The board have approved his appointment for a period of one year, which will be up for review, and possibly renewal.''

Burrell believes his appointment will also help increase the profile of the Jamaican side.

He said: ''When you are involved in international football you need an individual with international stature. Having a coach of international repute opens a number of opportunities for our national team.

''Many countries will invite you to play friendlies only because of the image and reputation of your coach.

''When an icon like John Barnes becomes the coach of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz' team, immediately the international spotlight will shine on Jamaica in every single aspect of the sport.''

Barnes is looking forward to the challenge and told Setanta Sports News: ''I've been trying to get back into football for many years and it had proved difficult.

''This was an opportunity for me to get back into football at a coaching level, which I love doing.

''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 will have his work cut out against teams from Central America, who he describes as ''historically better.''

He continued: ''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.''

Barnes has his eyes firmly fixed on the Premier League's Jamaican contingent and has identified a number of players to look at.

He added: ''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.''

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