RSPL delay good for Arnett, Humble Lion say coaches
Behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, and the dispute between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), which delayed the start of the new Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season indefinitely, has benefited teams that started pre-season preparations behind schedule.
Jerome Waite of defending champions Arnett Gardens and Lenworth Hyde of regular season winners Humble Lion have both said pre-season preparations started late and the postponement has given them time to get completely ready.
"Arnett Gardens' preparation is behind. The preparation started very late and the turnout was not maximum. But with the competition not kicking off as scheduled, it gives us ample time to get prepared and get in some more work, so the delay is really a positive," Waite said.
Hyde also described the postponed start as a good thing.
"It (postponement) did not really hamper us because we didn't start (pre-season) on time. So the delay gives us a little help to prepare and make the pre-season better. We are training well, and with the extra two, or how many weeks, we will get fitter. So the delay helped me, because we will get in some more practice games, which is what we need," he said.
However, for newcomers Sandals Whitehouse, the delay is a big setback as they were on schedule with their pre-season preparations, and pushing back the start of the league has affected them in a big way.
"I started my pre-season on time, and we have been preparing for months now, so we were looking forward to it. We were prepared and ready. so it affects us," coach Aaron Lawrence said.
"All 30 players completed the pre-season. Now, we have to put off training so we can bring them down and pick them up again. So we just have to give them a break for this week and return next Monday with a programme," he said.
The RSPL season was scheduled to start on Sunday, September 3. The governing body of local football, the JFF, pointed to money owed to the Montego Bay United Football Club and match officials as the two main reasons for the postponement. The officials have now been paid, but the Montego Bay United issue is still unresolved.