GORDON WILLIAMS, Gleaner Writer
Former national footballer Paul Young has denied he accepted an offer to coach Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) club Portmore United in a bid to rev up the defending champion's slender title hopes.
Published reports over the weekend indicated that Young will step in to replace Andre Waugh at the helm of the St. Catherine-based club. The reports stated that Linval Dixon would also be a member of the new coaching staff.
The two former national teammates have served as head coach of Portmore before. Both played for the club, formerly known as Hazard.
Contacted yesterday in the United States, where he is based, Young confirmed he held discussions with Portmore officials.
"We had a conversation, me and Mr. Herman Ming, one of the owners and directors of the club, on Friday evening, March 15," said Young, a striker who played more than 80 times for Jamaica, scoring over 20 goals. "They had called and said ... they need to make some changes.
"They said they wanted to bring us back into the family as former players and coaches - me and Linval Dixon."
Not available until May
However, Young added, although Portmore made an offer, his current arrangement with the United Futbol Academy in the US state of Georgia prevented him from immediately signing with the club.
"I said to them (Portmore) that I have a contractual agreement with my current employers in Georgia and I won't be available until the end of May," he explained. "And at that time I would make a decision. But in the meantime Linval Dixon could go ahead and be assigned as the interim coach."
He is, however, considering Portmore's offer.
"I said (to Portmore) the offer on the table was not a bad one," Young explained, "but I will give them a committed answer at the end of my tenure here at the United Futbol Academy in Georgia."
Young currently coaches several teams - under nine, 11 and 18 age groups - in the US He is in his fifth year with the academy.
However, during that tenure he has had coaching stints with Jamaican clubs playing in the premier league at the time, including August Town and Waterhouse.
Young said he is satisfied with the negotiations with Portmore, second by 12 points in the RSPL going into last night's game against league leader Harbour View, but made clear that no decision had been finalised.
"The negotiations with Portmore went well," he said, "but there is no final commitment at this time."
Waugh, once Portmore's physical trainer, a position he currently holds with the national programme, replaced Calvin Lewis as Portmore's head coach after last season.