Holy Trinity's Anderson welcomes new ISSA regulations
Devon 'Pablo' Anderson, football coach at Holy Trinity High School, thinks teams like his will welcome new Intersecondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) regulations on recruitment. Anderson says it is heart-rending to invest time and effort in student athletes only to see them leave for other schools
The new regulations allow Manning Cup and daCosta Cup teams to have no more than three student athletes who have moved from another school on their roster.
Anderson, who has led Holy Trinity to the Manning Cup semi-finals in both 2016 and 2017, commented: "It must be good for schools like ours. Schools like Holy Trinity invest time and effort in building our athletes, and after working very hard with the boys in terms of the development of their ability you then find out that they have left and gone to other schools. It is very heart-rending."
Recalling the transfer departure of a key player from his 2017 team, Anderson recounted, "My team was well set and my defensive midfielder left just before the season started. It sent me back to the drawing board to get someone in place at that position. Honestly, we couldn't fill it because the team had been built around that player.
"We ended up in the semi-final with a glorious opportunity in order to win it. If I had that player, perhaps what transpired in the game probably wouldn't have," Anderson said while looking back at a second straight semi-final loss to Jamaica College.
"So I welcome that move", he underlined.
Nevertheless, he accepts that some moves may be for the better. "Yes, it can be also," he allowed, "and it all depends because many times when the kids move, we find out when it has already happened."
He noted that some transfers don't go as expected. "We have heard of stories where parents got this, parents got that, kids were promised this, kids were promised that," he listed, "and sometimes the promises are not fulfilled."
Whatever the rules, the confident coach is looking ahead.
"Holy Trinity don't really complain much because when one gone, another one born", he said. "You wouldn't hear me scream and cry about how Tom gone and Harry gone," continued Anderson. "Talent is not what we're short of, it's just the support to enhance the talent," he stated.
On another note, he said Holy Trinity had recovered from the death of star player Jordan Foote in 2016, but he noted that Foote is an inspiration to the present team.
"A lot of these kids, even in this team, some of them did play with Jordan but had seen him play while they were at Under-16 and Under-14, and we always remember him."
Foote remains a symbol of Holy Trinity football. "Most of the guys, when we're leaving out for matches, they touch his picture on the way, saying 'Jordan, we're going to do it for you.' "
This season, Holy Trinity have compiled a record of four wins and a single loss, to Wolmer's Boys' School, in the Manning Cup and Anderson fancies his team's chances.
"I always believe in my boys," he said.