Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Chasing history! - Portmore hunting RSPL record

Published:Saturday | April 9, 2016 | 4:00 AMLivingston Scott
Portmore United's Ricardo Morris.
Portmore United's coach, Jeffrey Hewitt.
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Never in the history of Jamaica's football has a promoted team rose from the lower league to the summit of top-flight football in successive seasons.

However, former winners Portmore United are hoping to rewrite the record book as they prepare to take on Humble Lion in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) semi-finals, starting tomorrow, and coach Jeffrey Hewitt said it would be "special" to accomplish such a feat.

Portmore were relegated from the Premier League in the 2013/2014 season, but after battling their way back to local football's premier competition last year, no one expected the season the St Catherine side has delivered.

They topped the preliminary standings on points to take the $1-million prize and Hewitt said winning the play-offs would be the added bonus.

"Definitely, it would be something special (to come straight up and win the league), but our objective is not really based on that. Our intention is to make sure we are champions of the league, but that (coming up and winning) would definitely add to it," he said.

Hewitt said that prior to the start of the season, they were confident of doing well on their return, however, as the team performed above expectations, he said their objectives also changed.

EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED

"We surpassed it (expectation) and our objectives changed along the way. Coming into the season, we played some practise games against Premier League teams and, based on what we saw, we knew, for a fact, we were going to finish high up the table, but as the season progressed, we realised we could push further and we kept pushing and, hopefully, at the end of the season, we will be on top.

"We have been putting in a lot of work, and it's definitely about the backroom staff. We have been working very hard with this team and credit must go to (technical) director (Andre) Waugh who set the programme. He knows what he's about and what he wants and the guys have fallen in line and as it is we are getting there," he continued.

To achieve this dream, Portmore must first get by arch-rivals Humble Lion in their two-leg semi-final and Hewitt claim things are looking good for them as they head into tomorrow's first-leg clash at Effortville.

"Finishing on top of the league ahead of Arnett Gardens, Montego Bay is a good feeling. We are really proud of what we have achieves so far and our ambition is to go all the way. The job is not yet done, we just have to keep on working, as our focus is on getting through these two semi-final games and try to advance to the final.