Sun | Dec 15, 2019

MBU players remain loyal after relegation

Published:Saturday | October 26, 2019 | 12:17 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Montego Bay United’s Jermaine Woozencroft (left) comes under pressure from Portmore United’s Courtney Allen during a Red Stripe Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday, November 11, 2018.
Montego Bay United’s Jermaine Woozencroft (left) comes under pressure from Portmore United’s Courtney Allen during a Red Stripe Premier League game at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

Western Bureau:

Six months after getting relegated from the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), director of administration at Montego Bay United FC (MBU) Sandra Christie says the club is coping well as it plots a return to top-flight football. This is because the majority of its main players have stayed on to help to bring the team back into the RSPL.

The two-time RSPL champions were relegated after finishing the 2018-19 RSPL season with 30 points. They and FC Reno, who was also relegated last season, will feature in the second-tier Western Confederation Charley’s JB Rum Super League this season in an attempt to get back to the top league.

“I think, all things considered, the players have coped very well. They are not really liking the ­position, having to play lower level, however, it is what it is, and they have been accepting of it. We have not lost many players last transfer window, so we believe they are still committed to MBU,” Christie said.

“Well, certainly, being relegated means we are not afforded the luxury of the stipend from the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA). However, our board has been making its own strides in terms of sponsorship requests and partnerships that we have with our local sponsors.

YOUNG TALENT

Christie said that they have ­managed to retain most of the players from last season’s squad and are looking to add some young talent for the upcoming Super League.

“Johann Weatherly was transferred to Mount Pleasant and Giovanni Reid to UWI mainly because he got through for studies at UWI,” she said. “So we thought it was in his best interest to be able to study and play. Sheldon McCoy, for domestic reasons, had to go back into Kingston and was transferred to Portmore. And as you know, we have Deshane Beckford on loan.

“We have more demand now. We started our training on October 7 and we have about 12 youngsters trying out for the team, some of them from last season’s DaCosta Cup. I don’t think that our relegation has affected the potential intake.

“We have been honest with our players from day one about the finances and our intention to get back to the top flight. The good thing is that we have the facility that is still available to them. It’s obvious that it’s not money that is keeping the players with MBU.”

MBU will start the 2019-20 ­season with their MBUFC One-Day Invitational Friendlies preseason tournament at WesPow Park tomorrow.