Sun | May 26, 2019

No Ari Rodgers regret – Myrie

Published:Saturday | February 16, 2019 | 12:10 AM
Kingston College’s Ari Rodgers (left) successfully beats St George’s College goalkeeper Orville Smikle (right) but is unable to score during the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final last season.

Principal of Kingston College (KC) Dave Myrie said he has no regrets over his decision to allow injured middle-distance star Ari Rodgers to participate in last year’s ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition.

The Uganda-born Rodgers, who is yet to compete this season, is currently nursing an ankle injury and is a major doubt for next month’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which will be held from March 26-30 at the National Stadium.

In fact, Rodgers, who won the 2000m steeplechase at last year’s championships, suffered the injury in the final against St George’s College last December. KC won the game 3-2 to end a three-decade wait for the coveted Manning Cup title.

First love

“Ari’s first love is football and not track and field and to be honest with you, I think if Ari never played football, he would have been one of the most depressed youngsters ever,” said Myrie.

“At the end of the day, injuries happen, and if the injury is as such and the medicals don’t clear him for tracks, then it is just one of those things,” Myrie said.

Rodgers, who netted eight goals for KC last season, played an instrumental role throughout the campaign, and particularly in the semi-final, as he provided both assists to help his team to a 2-1 win over St Andrew Technical.

“He was instrumental in the team getting to the final and so it is unfortunate that he got injured in the final game of the season, but in all of these contact sports, these things happen and we just have to accept whatever happens,” Myrie said.

He added that the decision to play Rodgers in the Manning Cup was a collective one.

“I don’t regret the fact that he played football because he was the one who wanted to play, and he wanted to play from last year (2017), and we said no,” Myrie said.

“Last year (2018), he said he wanted to play football because it is a sport that he loves, and when you saw him out there training, his understanding of the game is really at a high level, and so, I did not deny him,” he said.