Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:52 am Post subject: Rene Simoes returns
|BY SEAN A WILLIAMS Assistant Sports Editor
Friday, November 23, 2007
FROM all indications, Brazilian coach Professor Rene Simoes will return to lead Jamaica's charge to
the World Cup Finals in South Africa in 2010.
Even before Captain Horace Burrell retook the reins of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)
just over two weeks ago, he had indicated that Simoes was his target man to succeed the sacked
Serb-born Velibor 'Bora' Milutinovic.
A report which appeared on the Brazilian sports website Lancenet.com.br yesterday, quoted the
charismatic Brazilian confirming his return.
"Jamaica is not from the Arab world where one could make a lot of money. However, I love
the people and that is why I will return," the report quoted Simoes as saying.
Burrell and JFF general secretary Horace Reid were en route to South Africa for the preliminary
draw for the World Cup qualifying series yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
When contacted last evening, first vice-president Dale Spencer declined to comment, and referred
this reporter to Burrell. But since the news of Simoes' possible return started to circulate locally,
the JFF has never denied that they were going after their man - the mustachioed Brazilian who
led Jamaica to a historic qualification to the 1998 World Cup Finals in France. With negotiations
well advanced, it seemed only a matter of time before Simoes would be back with his old team of
Burrell and Reid.
The delay in formally announcing Simoes as the new TD was seemingly due to the fact that he had a
contractual arrangement with Serie B Brazilian outfit Coritiba, who earned promotion to Serie A and will
play their final game of the season against Santa Cruz tomorrow.
A victory would seal the
second division title for them.
The website report stated that "technical director Rene Simoes will return to Jamaica in 2008".
That report also stated that he had received other offers, but opted for Jamaica because of "the
good relationship that exists between himself and that country".
With Jamaica's football ranked at an undesirable 103 (the lowest ever), the inactivity of the senior
team and general feeling of disenchantment of the football constituency brought on by the Crenston
Boxhill administration, the return of Burrell at the helm of the JFF has sparked a revival in the
Certainly, the acquisition of the affable Simoes will add spark to the flagging 'Back to Africa'
campaign, which has been reignited with two friendly internationals in four days this week where
'strong' Boyz teams defeated El Salvador 3-0 on Sunday and Guatemala 2-0 on Wednesday
before massive crowds inside 'The Office'.
Former Reggae Boy and World Cup veteran Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore acted in an interim
capacity for both games and is the man who is largely expected to be Simoes' assistant
when that time comes.
The 54-year-old Brazilian, who captured the imagination of the Jamaican people with his 'down-to-earth'
demeanour and 'Jesus Saves' T-shirts, has coached extensively before and after boarding the
'Road to France' train. Immediately before joining Jamaica he was in charge of Brazil's
Under-20 men's team and Al Rayyan FC of Qatar.
Other teams managed:
1994-2000 - Jamaica
2001-2002 - Trinidad
2003 - Honduras
2004 - Brazil Women's
(Olympics silver medal)
2004-2005 - Vitoria FC
(Cup of Portugal)
2006 - Iran Under-23
(Asian Games bronze)
2007 - Coritiba