Duhaney Park plan top-flight return
Darrington Ferguson, president of Duhaney Park Football Club, said after the restoration of lights at their Baldwin Crescent home, after eight years, that the club aims to return to top-flight football in five years.
Duhaney Park implemented lights in 2003 after Premier League qualification. The club was relegated after one season, but had the benefit of lights for years until the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) decided to pull the plug in 2010 after an accumulation of debt, amounting to $900,000.
Ferguson's intention was for his administration to restore the lights, and an amnesty with JPS gave them the perfect opportunity.
"We haven't had lights for seven years; $900,000 was owed and we had to utilise the amnesty by JPS, and $900,000 was reduced to $300,000.
"We engaged our overseas partners with our Community Development Committee, led by president Earl Jones. Douglas Moodie dealt with the overseas partners, while Vice-president Dr (Andrew) Salmon negotiated with JPS. So we took care of the accrual," he told The Gleaner.
Although the lights are back, Ferguson will not settle for just that. He wants to upgrade the entire lighting system, which will cost an additional $600,000, half of which was offset through an arrangement with Hardware and Lumber.
"We completed that (payment) process year before last (2016). But we wanted an additional $600,000 for the lights infrastructure.
"This year, when we were approached by Hardware and Lumber to utilise our premises, instead of charging them, we channelled that money into the development of the infrastructure," he said.
PLANNING TO RAISE ADDITIONAL $300K
With $300,000 more needed, the club is looking to engage both their local and international partners to source the remaining sum.
"We are still $300,000 short. We will be sitting down with JPS to come to some agreement. We are also planning a community walk. We are looking at fundraising and seeking a contribution from community persons to offset this $300,000. We are now moving to put in a pay-as-you-use prepaid meter system. We have replaced the light posts and all lights and we needed additional lights because we wanted to (illuminate) the (netball/basketball) court as well," he stated.
"We are a community club and most of our talent work, so this will help us better arrange senior players who work, so they can participate in our team. They can now train at later hours, but we are trying to develop the standard because we want to be able to host night games. But we will have more intense training sessions and preparation. Therefore, we look forward to returning to top-flight football in the next five years," he said.