Administrators hold key to Trelawny’s RSPL goal
DESPITE being unimpressed with the overall standard of football in Trelawny, Linnel McLean, the parish's top administrator and president of the Western Confederation, said he is hard-pressed to see a club there advancing to the Premier League, but is hoping that changes he is calling for will get at least one club there in the next two seasons.
"Realistically, the future of football in the parish is bright, but at the moment, it is hard to identify a club that could return the parish to the Premier League," McLean told The Gleaner after watching the National Rums of Jamaica/Trelawny Division One final between Granville FC and Invaders at the Elleston Wakeland Centre in Falmouth on Sunday.
Former Premier League outfit, Invaders FC, won the Division One title with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Granville FC, while in the day's other fixture, the Trelawny FA Monymusk Plantation Rum mid-season finale, a strike from second-half substitute Renaldo Scott in the 90th minute was enough for Rio Bueno to edge Bunkers Hill 1-0 for the bonus prize.
Trelawny was home to Premier League outfits such as Conquers FC, Invaders FC and Village United (relegated in 2011-12), the last club to represent that parish in the nation's top football league.
McLean said the lack of forward thinking and the inability of some club administrators to rise above mediocrity contributed in a significant way to the clubs' fall from grace.
Newly crowned Division One champions, Invaders, are one of few exceptions, according to McLean.
"There are others, but Invaders have a good young coach. They are taking the football seriously and are positioning themselves to benefit from whatever programme the parish association has in place," McLean said.
Invaders last played in the Premier League in the 2002-03 season, but were relegated the following year.
In the eyes of McLean, they are on their way back.
"It will take time," he said. "Right now, I cannot say there is a team I think could make the Premier League. Invaders are now back in the Trelawny Major League and will have to perform twice as better there before even thinking about the next step.
"Then there are Rio Bueno and Bunkers Hill FC for example in the Major League running. Baca Star FC also is initiating some real change.
"These clubs are among a select few which could in the future be of such quality to stage a run on the Premier League. But much changes are still in order administratively to make that step," McLean pointed out.