Was Hines made a scapegoat?
Andrew 'Bower' Hines, a former national player, Manning Cup winner in 1982 while a student at Camperdown High and former Harbour View Football Club (HVFC) top centre-half, was given the boot from his position as head coach last week by the chairman of the club, Carvel Stewart.
Hines took over from Harold Thomas last year and managed to qualify Harbour View to the semi-finals of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), before they lost to eventual champions Montego Bay United (MBU).
Hines had problems when Harbour View started slowly this season, before picking up in the latter part of the first round. They started to falter near the end of the second round.
Bleachers Report will simulate the exchanges between Stewart and the coaching staff, including when Vin Blaine took up the reins after Rivoli United defeated Harbour View 2-0.
The chairman noted being extremely aggrieved by recent results.
"Harbour View is now being ridiculed by all, without exception. The decline started over the last two seasons with problems in the selection policy. Too many players from outside are playing on the team that have not come through our ranks; we must select players from within. Greenland and Broderick are not Premier League quality, Mark Miller is not bad, but he is too old. Select players from our Under 20 team. Look at Stephen Barnett, Tajae Willis, Sheldon McCoy, Rojae Smith, Corey Bennett, and Colorado Murray. They are all better than the two imports.
"I prefer losing with our homegrown players, but I think we will win with them. You did not re-sign Devon Haughton (Batts is older than Miller), but he's better than all the goalkeepers we have. Now Cavalier has him, and we play them next. You went ahead and picked Jermie Lynch, and he did not renew his contract with the club; he should not play for the club until he signs, and you played him and he gets a red card.
"A half-fit Montrose Phinn is better than Damarley Oliver. Why did Jermaine Hue only play for a few minutes. You know he can pass the ball. The coaching decisions are flawed, flawed, flawed."
The coaching staff did not answer, and Stewart continued after the loss against Cavalier SC with a former Harbour View player, Donovan Edwards, scoring the winner.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Why are these two players rejected by their clubs, while still benching Jermaine Hue? Where is Harwood (Harwood is older than Mark Miller)? This is the same team, except Rosario Harriott (holds the record for playing for two relegated teams in one year, August Town and Portmore United last year); we are not trying to win.
Then the coaching staff replied.
"Chairman, you are getting carried away with 'Jerry' (Hue) not playing. You do not come to training; we also feel it when the team loses, and how constructive can you be when you do not attend training?"
"Drop those two rejected players, and Jerry does not have to play if we win. At this point with the Waterhouse match coming up, I do not know what will happen."
Well, Bleachers Report is reporting that Jermaine Hue was named as a starter, and Harbour View got the biggest beating ever in the Premier League in recent years and the biggest beating by any team in the RSPL for this season. Jerry scored a wonderful goal as Waterhouse had a training session, defeating Harbour View 7-2, a match broadcast on national television.
The day after the loss, on February 24, Stewart communicated with the coaching staff. "Where are your resignations? It does not matter, the current coaching arrangement is hereby terminated immediately, forthwith, right now. I am making alternate arrangements."
He then appointed Ludlow Bernard, Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner and Donald 'Fowlie' Stewart for the rest of the season, and BR believes as long as they pick Jerry they are ok.
Blaine did not answer, while Hines believes the club needs a scapegoat and a fall guy. BR believes he fits the bill perfectly.
In the meantime, the new coaching staff has won its first game in charge, and Stewart must be feeling good. But it was against Barbican, the firm favourite for relegation, and time will tell who was right - Stewart, Blaine or Hines. And how could we forget Thomas?