Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Jamalco look to parish’s youth

Published:Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | 8:00 AMLivingston Scott
Jamalco FC striker Creggton Charlton (left) and Maverley-Hughenden defender Fabian Swaby collide while challenging for the ball during the recent Charley’s JB Rum Premier League play-off football match at Maverley Complex on Sunday, May 29. Jamalco won 1-0.

Jamalco Football Club will make their first appearance in the nation's top flight, the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), this season.

However, unlike most Premier League debutants, the Clarendon club is not making a desperate bid to contract players with Premiership experience. On the contrary, coach Rayon Johnson is banking on the parish's young talent, and he's confident that they'll come good during the season.

"We have added a couple new players, but we haven't added any with any Premier League experience," he told The Gleaner.

"We try to get young players who are talented from the parish. We have one player (Sean Coleman) with Premier League experience. He came on loan from Humble Lion and we've still retained that player. We haven't gone in search on any other player from any Premier League club," he revealed.

Johnson believes that experience is overrated, noting that experienced players usually cause distractions in the teams.

 

GETTING PLAYERS READY

 

"These (young) players played other leagues. I watched them and the quality they possess. They can manage and match up with the Premier League boys. It's just getting them in the right shape [and] mindset and to go in the league and perform well," said Johnson.

"Sometimes, when you have too much experienced players, they break down the team, so we want a quality team that is going to work together, but we have to take it a game at a time and not focus on the long season ahead," he added.

Jamalco will debut against last season's beaten finalists, Portmore United, at Juici-Patties playing field, and Johnson is comfortable with his team's progress going into the season.

"We are just fine-tuning to hit the Premier League. We have played a few practice games and I am comfortable. There is room for improvement, but I am comfortable. Jamalco is a good defensive team and we have a strong attack, so we will be good enough in attack and protect what we have," he said.

"The first game against Portmore, we will try to start on a high and maintain it. It will get tougher as the season goes on and teams will get tougher, but we have to gain all the points we can in the early rounds and see how much we can accumulate. But we will be taking it one step at a time," he added.

No player has left the club.