MIGHTY MIKE!

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Liv­ingston Scott Sun­day Gleaner Writer

New pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, Mike Rick­etts (right), gets a con­grat­u­la­tory hand­shake from the man whom he beat for the top job, Ste­wart Stephenson.

NEW JA­MAICA Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (JFF) pres­i­dent, Michael Rick­etts, says there will be no honey­moon pe­riod for his ad­min­is­tra­tion after he was elected to lo­cal foot­ball’s top post at the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing and vot­ing congress at the JFF sec­re­tariat yes­ter­day.

How­ever, he re­vealed that he is fully aware of the chal­lenges fac­ing the fed­er­a­tion and he is con­fi­dent the per­son­nel within the ranks can move Ja­maica’s foot­ball for­ward.

“This is no honey­moon and I am very much aware of the chal­lenges that we will face go­ing for­ward. But I am ab­so­lutely sure that we have the ma­chin­ery, we have the per­son­nel that will do the re­pair job that is nec­es­sary,” he said.

Rick­etts said in the ab­sence of the late Cap­tain Ho­race Bur­rell many things went quiet, but in­sists they are ready to move again and take the sport for­ward.

“We feel we have the full sup­port of the board of direc­tors and I hope we have a very pos­i­tive im­pact go­ing for­ward, and from what we have seen, there are good things on the hori­zon. We can­not speak of any par­tic­u­lar ar­range­ment, but we are work­ing and we do hope that in

short or­der, we will see pos­i­tive change,” he said.

Through­out the cam­paign, Rick­etts’ op­po­nent, Ste­wart Stephenson, re­ceived popular sup­port. How­ever, the new pres­i­dent said life is about prov­ing your de­trac­tors wrong and he and his ad­min­is­tra­tion will be work­ing to prove his doubters wrong.

“Who am I that I should have no de­trac­tors? This is an elec­tion and not ev­ery­body can vote for you in an elec­tion so you are go­ing to have de­trac­tors. So now we must work and prove our de­trac­tors wrong. We have a man­date from our direc­tors and we will be ful­fill­ing our man­date ... and with the staff we have, plus the direc­tors, we are pretty con­fi­dent we can do a good job,” he con­tin­ued.

“I am a par­ish pres­i­dent and I know the chal­lenges of the pres­i­dents, and based on my ex­pe­ri­ence and the num­ber of times I was ex­posed by the late Cap­tain Bur­rell, I be­lieve I have the cre­den­tials and the sup­port to do well. But we must work to­gether as a fam­ily in the in­ter­est of build­ing foot­ball. We must work with the par­ish pres­i­dents and im­prove the sup­port to the par­ish and once you im­prove sup­port to the parishes you will im­prove your team and ad­min­is­tra­tors.

“But each com­po­nent of the game will be ad­dressed un­der this new ad­min­is­tra­tion – ref­er­ee­ing, coach­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tion. And we must end up with a bet­ter prod­uct, be­cause once we have a prod­uct of high qual­ity, then we be­come more mar­ketable,” he rea­soned.

LIONEL ROOK­WOOD/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

LIONEL ROOK­WOOD/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

New pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, Michael Rick­etts (right), is con­grat­u­lated by Ste­wart Stephenson, the man he beat for the top job in lo­cal foot­ball.

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