Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Pressured to stay? - Parris' intention to leave Dinthill linked to passport problems with manager

Published:Saturday | December 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Dinthill Technical's Kaheem Parris (left) seen here in action against Clarendon College during the ISSA/FLOW Ben Francis Cup final at the STETHS Sports Complex on November 8.

A source close to Dinthill Technical's daCosta Cup football programme has shared that team manager Greg McFarlane, who held Kaheem Parris' passport, which resulted in the player missing his flight to Florida on Wednesday morning with the All-Schools team, "realised" and "acknowledged" he did something wrong and has all but apologised to the player personally.

After Parris missed the team's 9 a.m. flight that morning, it took his mother, who lives in Ocho Rios, to travel to Kingston to retrieve his travel document and get it to him before his rescheduled 4 p.m. flight.

But one member of the Dinthill programme, who asked not to be named, said McFarlane spoke with the coaching and administrative staff and acknowledged he was wrong for holding the player's passport against his will.

"He realised that he did something wrong, and he acknowledged that he did something wrong. He thought what he was doing was in the best interest of the player, but realised he was wrong," the source told The Gleaner.

Meanwhile, it is being rumoured that the situation is rooted in Parris' intention to go professional or transfer to Clarendon College next season, while McFarlane, the team's sponsor, is advocating his return to Dinthill.

However, both our source and Clarendon College (CC) manager Bjorn White refuted that claim.

"Parris might not play another schoolboy football game. There were rumours of him going to KC (Kingston College), and we said until he leaves for KC, he is a Dinthill student. But he might not play another schoolboy game - not for Dinthill, KC, or CC. I think he is looking to go pro," our source added.

Bjorn Thomas, the Clarendon College coach, also denied the claims.

"It was even being said last year because he and a few Clarendon players are friends, but there is no truth to it. That's fabricated,' Thomas insisted.

Rudolph Speid, technical director at Red Stripe Premier League club Cavalier, which Parris also represents, also believes the player wants to go pro, and added that his impending departure may have been the cause of the passport situation.

"He (McFarlane) has done a lot for the (Dinthill) programme and he has done a lot for the youth (Parris). But Parris doesn't want to go back to school. He has reached a stage in his life where he has to decide if he is going pro or if he is going to go back to school. But some want to force him to come back to school because he is such a good player, while some are telling him he must go pro because they (pros) don't want anybody over 20 and his best chance [for a pro career] is to look outside of Jamaica," Speid assessed.

Parris bagged more than 30 goals in the just-concluded season, pushing Dinthill to the semi-finals of the daCosta Cup competition.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com