Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Unquenchable thirst! - Arnett's Thompson seeks back-to-back RSPL titles

Published:Sunday | April 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming
Thompson
Arnett Gardens' captain, Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson (left), in a battle with Jermaine Johnson of Tivoli Gardens during a Red Stripe Premier League fixture.
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Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson, the captain of Arnett Gardens FC, has won just about every football competition there is on local soil.

But his thirst for winning is still as pronounced as when he started out with his community team, Boys' Town FC, in 2003, he told The Sunday Gleaner.

And it is with this unquenchable thirst that he hopes to lead his club to their second back-to back title, having achieved the feat in 2001 and 2002.

"I have won everything that I have played in. I won the Manning Cup with Bridgeport High, the KSAFA Super League, the Jackie Bell knockout competition, and the Premier League, but the more I win competitions, is the more I want to win," Thompson said.

"The only thing that I have not done is win back-to-back Premier League titles, and I think I will do that this year."

The 14-year RSPL veteran admits that the task of winning back-to-back titles is steep, but he will be relying on the playoffs experience of his team to pull them through.

"Arnett Gardens have the most experience in terms of playing in the playoffs. We have gone to every semi-final in the last five seasons, and I think we can use that experience to win another title," Thompson said.

And their semi-final run has continued, having finished second in the regular season and landed an automatic spot in the final four.

"To be in the semi-finals for five seasons is great because if you look at the league, it is very unpredictable because the two teams that finished first and second in the league last year didn't even make the top six this year," Thompson said.

 

SEVERAL ISSUES

 

Thompson's camp has been affected by several issues this season. The conflict in the front office between president Patrick Roberts and Member of Parliament Mark Golding, who has refused to take up his honorary position as chairman of the club until the management has been restructured, spilt over on to the field, as several players have publicly complained about not being paid on time.

But the defender says that those issues will have no impact on his team when it's time for them to take on the winner of the Harbour View FC-Waterhouse FC quarter-final matchup.

"We are not letting that affect what we do on the field. Let them deal with what they have to deal with in the office, and we will deal with what we have to deal with on the field," Thompson said.

If Thompson should achieve his objective of winning this Premier League title, it would put him among a small group of current players to have won three championships.