Jamaica targets seventh Caribbean crown
Jamaica (pictured) will face French Guiana in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men's Caribbean Cup semifinals on June 22, 2017, in Fort-de-France, Martinique. (Photo: Jorge Campos)
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FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique -- The Stade Pierre-Aliker is a venue that holds fond memories for head coach Theodore Whitmore and Jamaica.  

It is where – under the former national team star’s guidance -- the Reggae Boyz captured the 2010 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup title, prevailing over Guadeloupe in the final, 5-4 on penalty kicks, after a 1-1 draw.

Four years later, at home, Jamaica earned its sixth Caribbean crown, once again via the penalty-kick route, topping Trinidad & Tobago, 4-3, following a scoreless stalemate.

The Jamaicans will return to the Pierre-Aliker on Thursday, when they square off against French Guiana in the 2016/17 Caribbean semifinals.  In preparation, head coach Theodore Whitmore has his side working on penalties if they are needed to lift the trophy for a seventh time.

“We have been practicing a lot of penalties” said Whitmore.  “At the last 15-20 minutes of training, all players, except the goalkeepers, took penalties.  Preparation is so key.  By doing this, we can sharpen our skills.  We are focused on getting title number seven.”

Whitmore is the only person to win the Caribbean Cup as a player (1998, 2005) and as a coach (2010).  If Jamaica repeats as champion, he will become the first Jamaican to earn two Caribbean championships as a manager.

“Of course I want to be the first Jamaican coach to win two Caribbean Cup titles,” the 44-year-old finished.  “This would be a great achievement for me.  I believe in this squad and what it can achieve, so we are looking to do great things in Martinique.  We have wonderful memories and we are looking to add another chapter to this book.”