Barnes ends exile to coach Reggae Boyz

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The Independent Football

John Barnes has been named as the new coach of the Jamaica national team. The 44-year-old former Liverpool and England winger , who was born in Kingston, will take up 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.

The post is Barnes' first job in management since an ill-fated spell in charge of Celtic in 1999-2000 and he is relishing the challenge. "I've been trying to get back into football for many years and it had proved difficult," Barnes said. "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 & 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. The Jamaica players who play in England probably make up three quarters of the team."