Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Coach Price calls for local summer football league

Published:Friday | October 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Boys' Town's Garfield Gillespie.
Pat Garel, general manager of the Premier League Clubs Association.
Boys' Town's coach Andrew Price.
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Veteran coach of Boys' Town FC Andrew Price has urged corporate Jamaica to assist with a 'Summer League' to help keep top players in Jamaica during the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) off-season.

Price said that when players travel to the United States of America to participate in summer games there, it is not helping local football.

"We, like other local clubs, have players who go overseas during preseason. We have to look at how best we can keep the players here for preseason. It is something that the PLCA (Premier League Clubs Association) can look into," the former PLCA general manager said during the RSPL's weekly press conference at Red Stripe yesterday.

"The players go away to earn, so local clubs have to find ways to give them a stipend so that they can remain here and participate in preseason training," he added.

"It is something that needs a lot of discussion. The clubs can't afford to keep the players here, so they go to the US just to play for additional income. This is something that has been going on for years, but when players come back they are not in a condition to play immediately. They have to start preseason late, and this affects most clubs," Price explained

"We have to engage them in a summer league. However, this means the private sector has to get involved. It is a difficult situation, but we have to find a solution," he said.

Boys' Town are yet to score a point after four games, and Price says that his senior players came back three weeks ago and are in training.

"They have been training for the past three weeks and are blending with the young players for a good combination. We need senior players to stay here, but we can't force them as they have to look out for their families. We are asking for corporate support," Price added.

Pat Garel, who took over from Price as PLCA general manager, is in full support of this suggestion.

"We have to sit down and find ways to solve the problem as it is affecting the league," Garel pointed out.

Four of the senior Boys' Town players who went to the United States for the summer are Daemion Benjamin, Asrick Samuels, Garfield Gillespie and Wayne Ellis.