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State of playing fields hindering Hanover’s football

Published:Wednesday | May 13, 2015 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke


Missed shots, errant passes and botched clearances are main features of most football matches across Hanover these days.

This is primarily due to the long-standing failure to invest in better playing surfaces, a situation not lost on the current Hanover FA boss, Sheridan Samuels.

"It is clearly a really bad situation now, but it is something we are talking about, with plans to really get on top of it once this current season ends," Samuels told The Gleaner.

With the parish's premier football competition - the Hanover Major League - well advanced, the few spectators who venture to grounds such as the Watson Taylor Park and Orchard are treated to a series of tasteless football.

Pockets of ditches, ridges and holes are features of the surfaces, particularly at the overused Watson Taylor Park.

"As the FA president, I realise that this cannot be anything good for the development of the game here. That is why we have taken a stand to eradicate these sort of bad playing fields come next season. We are committed to proper development of football in Hanover, so work should start on this field (Watson Taylor Park) before next season," he said.

"The football quality is poor because of the poor state of the fields across the parish. In fact, looking at it honestly, I would rank [Watson Taylor Park] two out of 10. Frankly speaking, it is atrocious," Samuels remarked.

He hinted at an attempt to get assistance from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and Western Hanover Member of Parliament Ian Hayles to rehabilitate the park, which falls under the management of the Hanover Parish Council.

"But the business community in Hanover - Lucea, in particular, and barring the Credit Union - are doing very little to help grow football.

"We need this to change quickly, and as president, my team and I are ready to move football forward, starting with the rehabilitation of fields," added Samuels.