Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Patrick 'Gummy Ninja' Graham is the man charged with the task of keeping newly promoted team, Savannah Sports Club, in the Red Stripe Premier League.
Graham, who was recently appointed, takes over the reins from Kendrie Quarrie, who acted in the dual role of player-coach while guiding the Westmoreland-based club to the lofty heights of Premier League football.
A former Reno FC midfield general and national player, Graham was bred on playing attractive football and said he wants to impart his philosophy on the inexperienced bunch of players he has at his disposal.
Graham donned the national colours as a midfielder under the guidance of Brazilian Rene Simoes.
"This is no easy task for me. The name Savannah is synonymous with victory and I intend to keep it that way," Graham said.
"My job is to make sure that we stay true to our style of play, which is to keep possession of the ball and make use of it once we are inside the final third. This is what our supporters demand and as the coach I am going to keep it that way," he added.
Under the directive of Quarrie, Savannah went from winning the Westmoreland Major League title in the 2010-11 season and spent just a single season in the Western Confederation Super League, winning at first-go by defeating seasoned campaigners and former national champions, Wadadah, in the final to be on the verge of kicking the ball for the first time in their history in the Premier League.
However, Graham is no stranger to the strenuous demands of top flight football. He was the assistant to his namesake, Michael, while he coached former three-time cham-pion, Reno FC, alongside former national head coach, Wendell Downswell.
"That was just a short stint," Graham acknowledged. "But in that time I did my best and learnt something new every day, sitting on the bench."
In spite of a razor-thin coaching resume, Graham is certain he can do the job at Savannah.
"I may have limited experience, but as a former player I am sure I can get the job done well and keep Savannah in the Premier League, far beyond some people's expectations."