Patrick Graham out, Downswell in at Reno
Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
It is back to the future at Reno Football Club in Westmoreland as Flow Cup winning coach Patrick Graham has stepped aside allowing former coach Wendell Downswell to take over.
Graham, who assumed duties on September 1, 2014 gave up his head coaching duties on Tuesday, just a day after losing 4-1 to Arnett Gardens in the Red Stripe Premier League. That loss meant that the club's winless run continued following their lifting of the Flow All-Island Knockout Competition. The Flow trophy was Reno's first title since their 2005-2006 victory over Harbour View at St Elizabeth Technical in a Premier League mid-season final.
"They said that I did not have enough time to spend with the team and asked me to step down, which I duly obliged," stated Graham, a former midfielder for the club and country.
Club chairman Russell Hammond told a similar story to Graham regarding the coach's departure.
"From the outset, the executive had a determination that Reno must be in the top six at the end of Premier League this year. On that basis, we interviewed Mr Graham on his return from Germany and we felt that he was most suitable for the job.
"Something developed where he was offered a job as lecturer at Church Teachers' College. We decided to see what the results would be with his limited time. After careful consideration, we saw that it was negatively affecting the performance of the team. In the discussions that we had, we considered what would have been in the best interest of the club. It was agreed that he resigned and that decision had our blessings," Hammond explained.
Hammond expressed thanks to Graham for the work he did at the club when he was able to devote his time.
With Graham no longer in the picture, Hammond said that club stalwart Wendell Downswell, the club's technical director, will take over coaching duties.
Graham, a physical education lecturer at Church Teachers' College, said he will use the time to focus on his permanent employment and postgraduate studies with G.C. Foster College and UTech.
"I will focus more on my lecturing and will take some time to concentrate on my studies," said Graham, who returned from Germany in August after topping the international trainers course in Liepzig, Germany where he earned a diploma in football and a German A Licence in coaching.