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Burrell makes call for greater professionalism

Published:Friday | August 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM
President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell (second left), posing with the Digicel Premier League trophy along with members of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA) and sponsors, Digicel, at yesterday's launch of the 2010-11 season at the JFF's headquarters in New Kingston. From left are Edward Seaga, chairman of the PLCA, Carvel Stewart, vice-chairman, PLCA; Mark Linehan, CEO, Digicel Jamaica, and Donovan White, head of marketing, Digicel Jamaica. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Tivoli's Navion Boyd (foreground), the league's MVP. - file
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André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, yesterday called on all stakeholders to exhibit an attitude of professionalism during the upcoming Digicel Premier League season.

Burrell was speaking at yesterday's launch of the 2010-11 season at the JFF's headquarters in New Kingston.

"Coaches, administrators, players and everyone associated with the clubs should give of their best in terms of discipline and professionalism in the interest of the development of the game," said Burrell.

"I want to wish the clubs the very best; to Benfica, welcome to the big league, and to Reno, you have returned and we will be looking at you. Let us enjoy this beautiful game."

Chairman of the Premier League Clubs Association, Edward Seaga, was happy with the return of the competition but stressed that it has been a difficult period of preparation.

Seaga shared that with no money in reserve and with the economic situation not providing many options, there were thoughts of cutting the league in half to ease the burden on the teams.

State agency, the Sports Development Foundation, however, intervened at the last moment with a donation of $5 million to ensure that all 38 rounds will be contested.

The 2010-2011 season of theDigicel Premier League was launched yesterday afternoon at the offices of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in New Kingston, as the telecommunication giants get ready to enter into their third and final year of a $150 million three-year deal.

Sponsors Digicel who are now in the final year of a $150 million three-year deal, will commit $50 million towards this year's staging of the competition, with support coming from the likes of Wray & Nephew and Locker Room Sports.

Marked improvement

Digicel's CEO Mark Linehan was pleased with his company's continued support of the competition and made special mention of what he considered to be a marked improvement over the period.

"Digicel is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Digicel Premier League for the third consecutive year. Over the last three seasons, we have seen the competition become a fantastic showcase of community football in Jamaica," said Linehan.

"We are committed to supporting the development of football in Jamaica and we are looking forward to what is sure to be another exciting season of the beautiful game," he continued.

The league will get under way next Sunday with all 12 teams. Defending champions Harbour View will host Humble Lion at the Harbour View Mini Stadium, while Boys' Town will tackle St George's at their Collie Smith Drive home ground in two of the bigger clashes.

Last year's runners-up Tivoli Gardens will travel to St Ann where they will play the promoted Benfica, while Reno-Portmore, Sporting Central-Waterhouse and Village-Arnett Gardens are the other matchups for the opening week.

There was no presentation ceremony following the conclusion of last season, due to the disturbance in Tivoli Gardens, so a truncated version was held towards the end of the launch.

Tivoli Garden's Navion Boyd was the league's MVP while cell phones, courtesy of Nokia, were also presented to the MVPs of the respective clubs.

The MVPs are Newton Sterling (Arnett Gardens), Devon Haughton (August Town), Peter Keyes (Boys' Town), Zico Herrera (Humble Lions), Jermaine Hue (Harbour View), Dwayne Kerr (Portmore United), Omar Parker (Rivoli), Jevaughn Watson (Sporting Central), Jermaine Taylor (St Georges), Orlando McBean (Village United), Kevin Lamey (Waterhouse), Navion Boyd (Tivoli Gardens).