Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
With five games and a half round remaining and with a gap of 12 points, defending champions Portmore United have brought in former coaches Paul Young and Linval Dixon to shape their battle plan in their bid to retain the Red Stripe Premier League title and in the process stop runaway leaders Harbour View.
The duo, also former players of the club originally known as Hazard, were drafted in last week following parting of ways with André Waugh and assistant Geoffrey Hewitt late last week. Waugh, the former physical trainer for the team, stepped up to the top post at the beginning of the season following the departure of title-winning coach Calvin Lewis at season end.
No official statement was released by the club, and the players were not officially informed of the change, according to The Sunday Gleaner sources, but current physical trainer Junior McBean took the last two training sessions, while Dixon observed Saturday morning's training session.
Calls to club administrator Clive Marshall's phone went to voice mail while Dixon returned a call to his phone with the promise that he would call back.
The "new bosses" could dent Harbour View's lead if they get the better of them when they go head to head at Ferdie Neita Park this evening. If they manage that, then they could trigger off an unlikely collapse similar to what occurred in 2006. Then leaders Harbour View surrendered a 13-point lead to gift the title to Waterhouse.
This year, however, the Vin Blaine-coached club look much tougher mentally and have shown no signs of that questionable mindset being unbeaten in their last five, including two wins in their last three games. Portmore United and the other title aspirants have not really been breathing down their necks. The defending champions drew their last two matches with Arnett Gardens at home and away to Montego Bay.
Monday night football should be even more exciting with a double-header at Drewsland. In the opener, which will not be televised, eighth-place Cavalier will tackle sixth-place Montego Bay United. A favourable result will improve Cavalier's chances of getting back into the top half of the table while western Jamaica's pride Montego Bay United will want to keep their position.
In the televised feature fourth and fifth-place Waterhouse and Arnett Gardens will battle it out in a game that should be good for the eyes. The competition's leading scorer Jermaine Anderson will want to remind of his goalscoring prowess ahead of the Reggae Boyz big World Cup qualifier against Panama at the National Stadium on Friday.
3:30 p.m: Boys' Town vs Tivoli Gardens - Collie Smith Complex
3:30 p.m: Highgate United vs. Humble Lion - Drax Hall Sports Complex
7 p.m: Portmore United vs. Harbour View - Ferdie Neita Park
3:30 p.m: Sporting Central vs Savannah - Brancourt
5:30 p.m: Cavalier vs Montego Bay United - Drewsland Stadium
9 p.m: Waterhouse vs Arnett Gardens - Drewsland Stadium
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