Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Veteran local coach, Winston Nevers, will not apply for a coaching job in next year's semi-professional Netball Jamaica Elite League (NJEL), which is set to begin in February.
Nevers, one of the most successful local coaches, told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday that he would instead concentrate on rebuilding a new netball programme at his base in Clarendon.
Netball Jamaica's policy stipulates that all coaches, assistant coaches and managers wishing to practise in next year's competition must apply for their positions in the tournament. The deadline application for coaches closed last Friday.
"No. I am not applying for it," said Nevers. "My work at Jamalco doesn't allow me to apply for it. I didn't get anything to state that I must apply for it.
"But that is not the reason why I am not going to apply for it. Although I didn't get (an invitation), I am not going to apply for the job to take my players to coach on another team," Nevers said.
The NJEL will replace the Super League as the top club competition in the island. It is also expected to bring a uniformed coaching structure, which will generate intense action and excitement during the eight weeks of competition.
The players will be given annual contracts based on a draft system, with the draft set for December 10.
Nevers, who has been the head coach of the Jamalco's netball team for over 20 years, pointed out that his job with the Clarendon-based outfit comes first and it does not allow him to coach other players in the country unless it is the national team.
"The semi-pro league is a club team and my contract at Jamalco says that I must go out into the communities and look for talent and form a Jamalco team and no other teams," said Nevers.
"I can't go out into the community and look for players, then bring them to the semi-pro and then take money from the semi-pro and still
be taking money from Jamalco, I cannot do that," Nevers argued.
NOT IN AGREEMENT
He added that he will be encouraging his players from the Jamalco team to join the semi-pro league, but is not in agreement with Netball Jamaica's idea of disbanding the Super League competition.
"I will support the pro league, but the only thing that I have said is that they shouldn't break down one league to form another league because this is foolishness to me," Nevers said.
"They should make the league continue, then you form another league because the pro league should be there alongside other leagues," he said.
Nevers has guided Jamalco to 16 JNA Berger Paints titles, as well as 17 Jamaica National Building Society Senior League trophies.
Meanwhile, Karen Anderson, general manager of Netball Jamaica, said her organisation was concerned by Nevers" decision.
"There is always a concern when who one you consider as one of your top coaches haven't applied for any of the positions. But there is still time, I believe, and we can look at it for the future," said Anderson.
"We have a bunch of quality coaches out there who have applied, I would think but I haven't looked through of them (applications)," she said.