UWI FC banking on youth in RSPL
UWI FC's coach Andrew Peart says his team will be banking on youth to win their first Premier League title this season after his side eked out a point against Harbour View FC in their opening Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game at the UWI Bowl yesterday.
The UWI FC boys scored two goals in quick successions to take a 2-1 lead in the early stages of the second half after Harbour View's Christopher Harvey scored from the spot to open the scoring in the 52nd minute. Anthony Greenland levelled the scores in the 57th minute and Jerandy Henry put UWI FC in front in the 60th. With three minutes to go, Sean Fraser made sure the Stars of the East left with a point when he tapped in a cross from substitute Bebeto McDonald.
UWI FC made their entry to the nation's top flight in 2016 and have been competitive in each campaign since, but Peart believes it is youth that will get them to the top of local football.
"The moves that we have made in the off-season are things we believe will help us to get to where we want to go," Peart said. "There are some 18- and 19-year-olds who have just finished high school, like Javoy Belnavis, who is in the pool of players for the National Under-23 team, Michael Evans and Patrick Brown from the Cornwall College championship team in 2016 and Trey Bennett, formerly of Kingston College. These players bring some excitement to the team and I believe they will make us more dangerous this year."
UWI FC's best finish came in their debut season when they placed fifth on the RSPL points table.
"We played a balanced game today. In the first half Harbour View created some chances with Peter-Lee Vassell and Tyreek Magee playing between our lines in the midfield," Peart explained. "Our concern is that playing at home we have to pick up maximum points and we can't be conceding two goals."
Harbour View's assistant coach Fabian Taylor was pleased to come away with a point.
"I thought we played well in the first half, but we got complacent after we scored the first goal, but to get a point away from home is not a bad way to start the season," Taylor said.