Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Boys' Town Football Club midfielder Renae Lloyd is focused on continuing to do well for himself and ultimately push his club to more silverware this season. Having won the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Star Baller Award for January in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), he is highly motivated.
"The award is a major boost for me after missing the first three months into the season. Now that has motivated me to continue doing well. I want to become the first player to get back-to-back Player of the Month award in the league," Lloyd, who received his award and $30,000 last Monday during the RSPL Monday Night Live game, told The Gleaner.
"I felt very happy on hearing the news that I was chosen as the most outstanding player for the month (January). To know that I just came back into the team and my performance has pushed Boys' Town up the Premier League table, as well as into the final of the (KSAFA/Hi-Lyte) Jackie Bell knockout (against Harbour View)," Lloyd said.
"In those three (RSPL) games, the team won twice and drew once and I scored against Highgate; and with four senior players leaving the club I stepped up my game, so it was felt that I deserved the award," Lloyd stated.
Following a good RSPL 2011-12 season in which Boys' Town finished a close second behind Portmore United FC, Lloyd was sent on trial in Turkey last summer, but failed to land a contract. He then travelled to the United States and spent four months with some family members. During his time away from the club, the famed Red Brigade won the first end-of-round incentive final, then struggled in the second round.
Lloyd returned in December, but was not in good physical condition and spent some time under the guidance of former Boys' Town and national player, head coach and technical director, Carl Brown. In his first league game of the season on January 6, Lloyd scored in his team's 2-0 win against Highgate United away. He then scored his second goal in the season against Cavalier last Sunday at the Collie Smith Drive complex.
Although he has been performing well, Lloyd says he is "focused on keeping focused".
"I have a lot more work to be done. I credit coach Carl Brown for getting me in condition. I want to put in more work to get the team moving forward," he said.
"With the loss of senior players like Rafiek Thomas, Oneil Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Xavian Virgo to other clubs, people have written us off, but we've shown depth. The loss of those players have left doubt in the minds of Boys' Town fans. Now it is up to us to clear those doubts as we need the fans, as well as financial support," disclosed the player who formerly represented Greater Portmore and Dunoon Technical High schools in the Manning Cup.
"We have back Jermaine Allen from Tivoli and brought in Adrian King from Waterhouse to add to our strike force. They are both good players, so we are looking forward to a great third round in the Premier League. And with inspirational captain Michael Campbell and other senior players still at the club, anything is possible," Lloyd, who debuted for the national senior team last year, pointed out.
Currently, Boys' Town are in third position on 37 points from 23 games, 11 points off leaders Harbour View. Defending champions Portmore are in second position on 38 points.
"It's not impossible for us to win the title, but it will be a difficult task for any team to pass Harbour View as they have been playing well, and boosted their squad with Virgo and other players in January," Lloyd assessed of the season that concludes in May, after another 15 rounds.
He has three caps for the Reggae Boyz and said his focus is to continue playing well and "hope to get a contract overseas and return to the national team".
Boys' Town's head coach, Andrew Price, said that Lloyd deserved the award as he came into the team and performed well and that has lifted the team.
"Well, certainly when he (Lloyd) came back in December he has worked very hard in training and he has been a revelation. He has scored some vital goals," Price pointed out.
"He has shouldered a lot of the responsibility since the four players departed the club. We have been unbeaten in all competitions since Renae returned to the club, so his performance has undoubtedly lifted the team," Price stated.
Even though Lloyd has been doing well, Price said: "I have told him on many occasions that he does not realise how talented he is."
The CHEC Star Baller of the Month award and cash incentive was instituted last October as part of that company's sponsorship package. The award is for a player who has a positive impact on his team's performance - a good disciplinary record; number of games played in during the month; shut out (for goalkeepers); and goals scored.