Staying grounded - Duckie mindful of complacency after Portmore scalp
After his side upstaged defending champions Portmore United 2-1 in their debut game in the Red Stripe Premier League yesterday, Coach of Mount Pleasant Football Academy, Donovan Duckie, says that he will have to implement measures to contain the excitement of his charges as they try to become the first team to win the nation's top flight in their first season.
"From the preseason, we noticed that they tend to get carried away. We played Reno, Cavalier FC, and Montego Bay United and won all the games, and they showed signs of getting carried away, but we have to get them to refocus, and one of the challenges that me and staff are faced with now," Duckie said after the match. "We have a long way to go and everyone is excited, so we have to let them know that it is football we are focused on."
The St Ann-based club stole all three points in the final play of the game when Suelae McCalla fired home a long-range effort and sent the travelling Mount Pleasant fans into delirium at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
The game was heading for a draw as the teams were locked on a goal a piece for over 60 minutes of the contest. Devon Hodges, who won the golden boot for his former club, Rivoli United, in 2009 and 2010, marked his return to top-flight football with the opening goal of the game in the sixth minute. But five minutes later, Rosario Harriott drew level before McCalla brought down the curtains in the final seconds of the match.
"In the latter stages (of the game), we were playing for a draw, but the opportunity presented itself for us to win the game, and we made good use of it, and it is a good three points to start the season," Duckie said.
Coach of Portmore, Shavar Thomas, expressed disappointment at losing the way his team did.
"To go down 2-1 in the last play of the game is disappointing. We must be able to play for 90-plus minutes. We can't be defending our title and start out like this, but we will learn from it," said Thomas.
Portmore will next take on Harbour View FC in their next match while Mount Pleasant will face last year's beaten finalists Waterhouse.