Thomas expects more from striker East
Portmore United’s head coach Shavar Thomas said a lot more is expected of in-form striker Javon East when they face Waterhouse in this year’s final of the Red Stripe Premier League competition.
Portmore, who are seeking to successfully defend the title they won last year against the same opponents, secured their spot in the final after an exciting 3-2 aggregate win over Mount Pleasant Academy on Monday night at the National Stadium.
East, a former Calabar High school Manning Cup standout, was impressive for the defending champions in both semi-final legs, as he has scored two of the team’s three goals against the promoted Mount Pleasant team.
In fact, East is now the joint leading goal-scorer in the competition with Tivoli Gardens’ Colorado Murray with 12 goals each.
Thomas said that while he was pleased with East’s performances in the semis and throughout the season, he is expecting even more from his top striker when the final comes around on April 29 at the National Stadium.
“Javon is very important especially with the work that he does for us up front and not the offensive side of stuff but on the defensive side, presenting himself as the first line of defence against teams, pushing their defenders to do work and to think,” said Thomas.
“When the ball comes to him when we are in our offensive (phase), he can hold it up, better than anybody that ever plays in that position and he get goals as well,” he said.
“He has been doing good and the point of the season that we want him to be hitting the score sheet, he is doing that and so it is a compliment to him and also the people who are playing behind him because it is a team effort,” Thomas said.
Thomas noted that they are expecting a very tough final from Waterhouse but says he is optimistic that his boys will come out on top.
“At the start of the season, we said we wanted to go back-to-back because no team has ever done it since Arnett Gardens and so Portmore want to be that team,” Thomas noted.
Arnett Gardens won successive titles in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 season. Before them, Reno also won back-to-back titles in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons.
Santos remain the only team to win four consecutive top flight titles with their run from the 1973-74 to the 1976-77 seasons.