Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Western Bureau:National head coach Theodore Whitmore has expressed his deep concern about the state of football in his home parish of St James.
"I am concerned about the lack of talent coming through ..., " Whitmore said at the parish football association's awards presentation ceremony on Thursday night at the Montego Bay Cricket Club. He added that players were just not making the transition to the national programme.
Whitmore said part of the problem was that too many players had a get-rich-quick mentality and were paying scant regard to the right channels of hard work and commitment and overall had a wrong approach to the game.
"Too many of these players go around feeling that football owes them something. They do not want to invest in training and so they find themselves in the get-rich-quick schemes," continued Whitmore.
He dismissed suggestions in certain quarters that he was averse to picking western players to the national programme. He said the notion that he must pick players based on the fact that he too is from that region is ludicrous.
"I am asking you players of football to sow before you reap and creep before you walk. MoBay players get your head in the right place," he urged.
He said the get-rich-quick mentality has wrecked Montego Bay, noting that players, coaches and administrators must do more to revitalise football in the parish.
The top awards in the parish went to the players and clubs that won the respective competitions.
Reggae Youths took home the St James Division One trophy and a slew of other sectional awards, including that of leading goalscorer, which went to Theo Shaw, top goalkeeper award to Ryan Bernard and the coveted MVP award won by Michael McLeod.
Meanwhile, the biggest prize of them all, the Captain's Bakery and Grill Knockout, went to champions Tomorrow's People, as did the awards for leading goalscorer - Gregory Tate. The Most Valuable Player prize in the knockout went to Davel Cornwall.
Paradise took home the Guardian Life Division Two trophy and medals and are still celebrating the bulk of sectional awards, including MVP, won by Vaughn Randall, top goalkeeper - Thomas Harris and champion coach which went to Karston Walker. Tennison Jarrett won the award for being leading goalscorer. Copperwood FC were second and Irwin FC third.
Norwood Strikers took home the St James FA Senior League trophy as well as the awards for MVP (Byron Barrett), top goalscorer (Alex Smith) and top goalkeeper, Jermaine Scott.
Four others received citations for contribution to football in St James, including Whitmore, Garfield Anderson, Oneil Courtney Brooks and Jamaica Football Federation president Captain Horace Burrell.