Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Jamalco on way to Premier League

Published:Friday | May 27, 2016 | 5:00 AM

Two years ago, Jamalco FC narrowly missed out on a historic berth in the Red Stripe Premier League football competition. Now, two years later, the Clarendon-based team is back and firmly on course for a spot this time around.

Back then, Jamalco ended the play-offs on 10 points but were edged on goal difference by Reno FC. They currently have maximum six points from two games in the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)/Charley's JB Rum Red Stripe Premier League play-offs series.

However, head coach Rayon Johnson, who guided the club in 2014 is fully aware that his team needs another four points from four games in order to make the step up to the nation's highest league.

"What we looked at is how we had approached the 2014 play-offs series. We didn't win any game on the road and that was our downfall," Johnson reflected.

"This season, the plan is to win at least two games on the road in addition to wins in the home games. And, that would see us through to the 2016-17 Premier League," he told The Gleaner yesterday.

After winning on the road against Brazil FC, 1-0, on Sunday, the Jamalco team followed through with a similar score line against Granville United FC at home at the Wembley Centre of Excellence field in Clarendon on Wednesday.

"The players are putting in the work. However, we need to convert the chances as we have not conceded any goal," Johnson informed.

Looking ahead, he said: "If we win the three games in the first round, we would need at least another point to be safe."

Jamalco provides funding for the team and the coach says that they are doing a wonderful job.

"The bauxite company is fully involved. They really want the team to step up to the Premier League," he disclosed.

The team's involved in the play-offs are South Central Confederation Super League champions, Jamalco; the Eastern Confederation winners, Brazil FC; the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association Super League champions, Maverley/Hughenden FC and the Western Confederation winners, Granville United FC.

At the completion of the home and away series, the top two teams on points will qualify for the 2016-17 Red Stripe Premier League.

Jamalco lead on six points, ahead of Maverley/Hughenden (4), Brazil (1) and Granville, who are rooted at the bottom without a point. The series continues next Sunday with Maverley.Hughenden hosting Jamalco at Maverley Complex and Granville against Brazil at Granville Community Centre in St James.