Junglists aim to finish 'better than fourth'
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Arnett Gardens Football Club has added some experienced as well as exciting youth players to its squad in order to break a 12-year title drought after last winning the Premier League in 2002.
With the addition of these players, head coach Jerome Waite believes that his team has enough ammunition to improve on the fourth-place finish last season in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
"I expect the team to finish better than the fourth-place position (last season)," Waite opined.
Former Harbour View and national defender Dicoy Williams, who joined the club at the youth ranks, makes a return to Arnett.
Jerry Walters and Anthowe Dawkins have also returned, while Jameel Thompson, formerly of Tivoli Gardens and Waterhouse, and Marvin Morgan, who quit Waterhouse after one season, have joined the Junglists.
Arnett have also advanced youth players Steve Clarke, Paul Doyle, and Dasha Fatchwell into their senior team.
Williams is vastly experienced following his participation in the national senior programme, plus a stint in Major League Soccer with Toronto FC. Besides Arnett and Harbour View, he also played with Santos FC, as well as the national youth teams.
The 27-year-old, along with Dawkins, Walters, and Thompson, adds stability to a backline that leaked last year.
"It is a competitive defensive group that also offers much in attack," Waite observed.
Morgan, with his pace and dribbling, should pose problems for opposing defenders.
"First and foremost, unlike last year, I have the opportunity to look at all players. We have assembled a balanced squad with experienced and youth," Waite told The Gleaner.
"We have a balanced squad, and we are looking at an exciting season," he added.
Having led Arnett to back-to-back Premier League titles over 10 years ago, Waite returned last season for a third stint as coach after Calvin Lewis resigned. The team had a slow start, but rallied under his guidance and was beaten in the semi-finals by Waterhouse.
Arnett will begin their quest for the title when they host Cavalier SC at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday.
The other games on the opening day read: Montego Bay United vs Rivoli United; Humble Lion vs Barbican; Harbour View vs Sporting Central Academy; Tivoli Gardens vs Boys' Town; and Reno vs Waterhouse. Home teams are named first.