Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Johnson aims to bring Harbour View back on top

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2016 | 10:00 AMShayne Fairman

Buoyed by what he described as Harbour View's rich history, newly appointed manager Oneal Johnson intends to hit the track running, and help move the former champions from their recent mid-table status and back on top of the league.

The East Kingston-based club is one of the winningest teams in local top-flight football, with four Premier League titles - 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2000. They also have two Caribbean Football Union (CFU) titles (2007 and 2005), along with a host of other local knockout titles.

However, Harbour View have not won a national title since 2013, and given that fact, Johnson comes in with one goal in mind.

"[We are] concentrating on winning this Premier League," he noted.

"We are only focusing on winning the league, nothing else. Short term, it's to see the team win. Harbour View has a rich history, and we are trying to bring back the club to where it used to be, on top of the league," he outlined at last week's Red Stripe Premier League press conference.

He will work alongside General Manager Clyde Jureidini, head coach Ludlow Bernard, and assistants Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner, Donald Stewart and Fabian Taylor.

"Well; my role was created because the club thinks it needs to focus more on the Premier League, and Mr Jureidini is a very busy guy, so certain attention to detail and taking the pressure off him is my role," Johnson explained.

In an attempt to change/ improve the mid-table status of Harbour View, Johnson said the team signed two overseas players that will be available to the coaches soon, while putting together a strong young squad.

"It's a talented bunch. I've watched them in training, and they are working very hard. I've seen them putting in double shifts, and we motivate them and tell them they have the ability and talent, so they just need to go out there and execute," he noted.

When asked by The Gleaner, if Harbour View, known as one of the Premier League outfits to rotate coaches within the club's walls, will stick with that model, Johnson said that's a management decision.

"I don't think I can comment on that," he stressed, while backing player-turned-assistant coach Gardner to come big in the future.

"Well, he is developing as a coach day by day, and building a good rapport with the squad, and Coach Ludlow is there to help him."