New head coach Patrick seeks RSPL glory at Waterhouse
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Waterhouse Football Club's interim coach, Anthony Patrick, says his players remain optimistic of winning the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) title this season, despite the club being 13 points adrift of leaders Harbour View Football Club leading into the third round.
With 16 games remaining in the league that ends in May, Waterhouse occupy seventh position on 32 points.
Patrick was appointed interim coach by the club after Donovan Duckie was fired last Monday.
"They (the players) looked lively in training yesterday (Tuesday evening), so we're optimistic of making a run for the title," Patrick told The Gleaner after his first training session on Tuesday.
"Our goal is to win the title. We're in with a pretty good chance," he noted.
For Patrick, this is the second time he has been appointed interim coach of Waterhouse's senior team. He took the job after the late Barrington 'Cobra' Gaynor was axed from the position of coach during the 2006-07 season.
guided Bridgeport to Manning Cup
His rise as a coach came when he guided Bridgeport High to their first Manning Cup and Walker Cup titles in the schoolboy competitions in 2001. He also guided the Portmore-based institution to another Manning Cup triumph in 2006.
During his time in charge at Bridgeport, Patrick coached Darren Mattocks, who is in his second year in North America's Major League Soccer. Mattocks also represented Jamaica at the youth and senior team levels. Other notable players who Patrick guided as schoolboys include Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Kenardo Forbes, Andre Clennon and Theo Brown.
Patrick also coached Waterhouse's junior teams, but has been given the reins ahead of asistant senior team coaches Junior Francis and Marcel 'Fuzzy' Gayle because of the removal of Duckie at this time.
Duckie was fired as coach after two seasons in charge at the Drewsland club. The club terminated his contract following a loss to Boys' Town in the KSAFA/Jamaica Yellow Pages Knockout semi-final on Sunday last at Constant Spring Complex in St Andrew.
Boys' Town won that match 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out decider, after both teams battled to a 0-0 draw after regulation and extra time.
Under Duckie, Waterhouse, who last won the RSPL in the 2005-06 season, blew hot and cold in the first two rounds this season. Having not won in the last four RSPL games and losing in the Corporate Area semi-final, the club's board decided to part company with Duckie.
Patrick says his major and immediate focus will be ball possession.
"Before, the team didn't possess the ball a lot. Now my focus is on ball possession," he stated.
Waterhouse are set to tackle Highgate United FC at Drax Hall in St Mary when the RSPL third round begins tomorrow. Match time is 3 p.m.