Leon Bailey “Is For Sure By Far The Best Jamaican Player” Says Coach Hallgrímsson: World Cup Squad Named

Friday, May 31, 2024, 5:34 PM

Ahead of the Reggae Boyz’ first match for the World Cup Qualifiers, the squad list was announced on Friday. Among the players absent from the Boyz’ squad for their upcoming matches is Leon Bailey, whose absence coach Heimir Hallgrímsson says will limit their chances.

For their World Cup Qualifiers opener, Jamaica will face the Dominican Republic on June 6 at the National Stadium in Kingston. The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) shared the Reggae Boyz squad list earlier today, as well as the list of the players who were excluded from the squad due to injury.


In addition to the players unavailable because of injuries, the JFF also shared that Bailey is unavailable for selection. The Aston Villa player had announced in March that he was taking a step back from the team.

Speaking to Oral Tracey via a radio interview, coach Hallgrímsson shared that Bailey will be absent from the upcoming qualifiers as well as their Copa América matches, which are scheduled for June. Hallgrímsson expressed that he hopes Bailey’s decision will result in improvements to the team, as he is making a sacrifice to make a point.

The coach went on to state that Bailey is currently the best player in the country.

“It limits our chances maybe because he is for sure by far the best Jamaican player if you look at statistics in goal scoring and in assists in the best league in the world. So it limits our chances, of course, but I hope this will be a beneficial thing in the long run for Jamaica,” Hallgrímsson stated.

Watch the interview below:

The 26-man squad will be comprised of goalkeepers Shaquan Davis, Jayden Hibbert, Coniah Boyce-Clarke, and Jahmali Waite, along with defenders Dexter Lembikisa, Di’Shon Bernard, Greg Leigh, Damion Lowe, Michael Hector, Richard King, Tayvon Gray, and Jon Bell. The team’s midfielders will feature Kasey Palmer, Karoy Anderson, Bobby Reid, Daniel Johnson, Alex Marshall, Adrian Reid Jr., and Kevon Lambert.

RELATED: Leon Bailey, Aston Villa, to Play in the Champions League Next Season

Shamar Nicholson, Renaldo Cephas, Michail Antonio, Deshane Beckford, Kaheim Dixon, Cory Burke, and Devonte Campbell were announced as forwards. Among the list of excluded injured players is Chelsea U-21 forward Dujuan Richards, who is unavailable due to an unspecified injury.


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