Boys Town fear losing u17 title-winning players
Leon Hardware, Boys' Town Under-17 coach said a motivational speech from club legend, Derrick Denniser, before they defeated defending champion Cavalier 3-0 in the Alliance MoneyGram/KSAFA Under-17 final at Excelsior High School on Saturday lifted the players for the match.
Omar Reid led the way for Boys Town with a brace, while an own goal accounted for the other.
However, Hardware, coach of the club's under-13 to under-17s, has seen the side lose many of its best youth players as soon as they show their potential, and he believes their hopes of grooming this group for the future will be difficult.
"The guys went out and gave their all. But before the game, we got a motivational speech from one of our past players. Derrick Denniser, came by and gave a little speech. He told them to look into themselves and each person must try to be the best they can be , and they really grasped the speech.
"I really thought they took it into consideration and lifted themselves, and they went out and gave their best, and it was good enough," Hardware said.
He also praised the contribution of top scorer and match winner Reid, who ended the season on nine goals. "Omar Reid played in and out of the game because he was the main person they (Cavalier) were looking to mark. The first goal, they made a bad pass , and he pounced on it. The other goal, we drew their defenders one side, and he took to the other side, and we got the ball to him.
"He's our top scorer. His contribution was key, he gave a lot. He doesn't train too often with the team, but he has a lot of 'responsibility' and he plays for the team," Hardware noted of the Clarendon College attacker.
The former Boys' Town player, Hardware, says the club want to use this U-17 group as a catalyst to reclaiming top-flight status but says it will be a very tough job keeping the players.
"This win is very important for the community and club. This could be the stepping stone to getting back into the Premier League. Right now, we are trying to keep this group together. But the fear of losing them is real. Because we have lost a lot. A lot of our players came through the ranks and we just lost them by the wayside, as other people come in and influenced them from us.
"So, the future, you can't really tell, because sometimes when you have good players you lose them because certain things you cannot provide them with, and other people come in and influence them, and they just leave," he added.