Hyde has eyes on the big prize
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Humble Lion are in a strong position to make the Red Stripe Premier League second end-of-round final. They are also well-placed in the race for the overall title, as after 18 rounds of the 2011/2012 season they occupy second in the 12-team table with 30 points.
Things have not always been this rosy for the Clarendon-based club, as at the end of the first round they were eighth in the standings sitting just five points above the relegation zone and appeared destined to spend the season attempting to stave off relegation, as they had done in their previous two seasons. In the 2009/10 season they finished eighth, while last season (2010/11) they barely avoided relegation after placing 10th.
"We said from last year that if we stayed up we would try our best not to be in that position again," head coach Lenworth Hyde Sr pointed out while winning the overall title is the long-term goal.
"That (winning the league) is in the back of our minds, that's why I am there," Hyde declared. "I am trying to get a title for a non-traditional team which would be great for us."
He added: "It is going to be tough, but that is the aim of the coaching staff and we are instilling that in the players that they have to believe that they can win the league, as it is not only about being in the league and just trying to stay up."
Hyde, who has won the league three times as a coach and four times as a player, as well as a club championship, attributes his team's change in fortune from the first round to their preseason preparations.
"The main reason we are doing well now is the preseason. We had a lovely preseason. We worked very hard towards the end of June into July ..." Hyde revealed. "We are showing that determination now and the players are very fit, so it is important that we maintain the fitness of the players and the focus," he added.
The Humble Lion unit has also been experiencing greater success at their Effortville Community Centre base as after playing six first-round games at home without a win, they have achieved two in three games in the second round.
"We had a little problem at home, the spectators were giving us a warm time. They expected us to come there and win from the get go," Hyde reasoned. "They (players) couldn't handle the spectators. Even I sometimes got frustrated with how the people behaved down here. But we just have to fight through it and try and keep them mentally tough, and I think they are doing that now and dealing with the football, hence we are turning it around slightly," he added.
Hyde does not intend to be too busy in the January transfer window, as he does not see many weak areas in his team.
"We are getting some calls, but we want to look in the departments where we are short," Hyde shared. "I think we are going to want a goalkeeper and if there are any other areas where we really need a player, we will go and get that player," he added.