Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Clutching at a straw - Boys' Town FC president hoping to avoid the drop

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Boys' Town's Jamiel Hardware (left) and Keniel Kirlew of Montego Bay United battling for possession during a recent Red Stripe Premier League match at the Barbican field. The game ended 0-0.

"I have to cling on to hopes because you know why, the ball is round and anything can happen."

Those are the words of Leon Mitchell, president of the Boys' Town Football Club, who are fighting desperately to stave off relegation from the Red Stripe Premier League competition this season.

Former champions Boys' Town, a club which has in the past produced outstanding national players such as Carl Brown, Herbert Gordon, Derrick Denniser and Devon Lewis, and are in a relegation battle for the second straight season. They sit at the bottom of the standings with 14 points with eight games remaining in the preliminary stage of the competition.

They are five points behind 11th-placed Sandals South Coast while Montego Bay United are 10th on 28 points. The Red Brigade have registered just two wins this season while drawing eight games and losing 15.

Mitchell said he is saddened by the performance of the team but they are going to keep on fighting until the end.

"I am disappointed in the season and I am disappointed in many of the games I thought we could have come away with a point, and even in some cases come away with three points, and we didn't," said Mitchell.

"Even if it works out that we are unable able to stay in the Premier League, we will have a programme to come straight back up," he said.

The Collie Smith Drive-based club has been facing a number of problems for the past three seasons, including not being able to play at their home base in Rema, Trench Town.

Mitchell said they have already started to put plans in place so that the club can return to their home ground at Collie Smith Drive.

"We will assess everything internally in the next two or three weeks and we will put together a programme for next season regardless of the division that we are in," said Mitchell.

The Boys' Town president said one of the main tasks is to improve the playing surface at Collie Smith Drive.

"We have managed to locate the (water) pump and we are looking at solar to generate the power for that pump, and so all of that I hope will be in place for next season," Mitchell said. "We will have a better surface to play on. We will improve the facility at Boys' Town so that we can host our home games," he added.

When The Sunday Gleaner visited the Trench Town community yesterday, a number of the club's fans had already thrown in the towel. They said it will be very difficult for Boys' Town to avoid relegation this season.

"I am very disappointed because over the years Boys' Town have always performed well, but I think avoiding relegation (this season) is going to be very difficult for us," said Nester Keith.

"I don't feel like that we can make it with eight games left ... as far as I can see it from here it is back to square one for us," Keith said.

Another fan, Paul Bailey, said he is very disappointed with the performance of the club in the competition.

"Right now me vex about this, but Boys' Town is my club and I will stick with them through these difficult times," said Bailey. "I am very disappointed because the season is almost finished and we have won just two games."

Michael Brown, a former Boys' Town player, is more optimistic. He is very confident that Boys' Town can avoid the drop this season.

"I have a lot of confidence in the team that they are going to do what it takes to ensure that we win the rest of the games and stay in the league for next season," Brown said.