Whitmore dreams of fulfilling Mt Pleasant promise
IS THE time finally now right for Mount Pleasant to end the massive promise of becoming the paramount footballing organisation in the country? After Monday’s 3-0 win over Dunbeholden in their second leg Jamaica Premier League (JPL) quarterfinal,...
IS THE time finally now right for Mount Pleasant to end the massive promise of becoming the paramount footballing organisation in the country?
After Monday’s 3-0 win over Dunbeholden in their second leg Jamaica Premier League (JPL) quarterfinal, head coach Theodore Whitmore hopes that they have taken a crucial first step after a second half in which they showed their attacking capabilities en route to their third semifinal appearance in five years.
Leonardo Rankin in the 48th and 60th minutes and an 89th-minute strike from Atapharoy Bygrave sealed a 4-1 aggregate win over last season’s finalists. While the scoreline might have seemed convincing, it was anything but, according to Whitmore.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy game. We applied ourselves, especially in the second half. If we have to motivate players at this stage of the season it doesn’t make sense. They know what it is at hand, a semi-final berth, and a place in the club championship,” Whitmore said.
The regular season has never been a problem for Mount Pleasant, having finished no lower than fourth since entering the top flight in 2018. But the playoffs have been the problem as they have experienced disappointment year after year.
Unlike the first leg where they needed a stoppage-time goal to escape with a draw, Whitmore said that the emphasis on getting more numbers in attack was the key to finally showing their teeth.
“We didn’t have enough players coming forward (in the first leg). We weren’t creating a lot of opportunities. (But on Monday) we had numbers in attack and we created chances,” Whitmore said.
One of those chances fell to Bygrave, last year’s golden boot winner, who scored the final goal to put his former team to the sword. Whitmore said that depending on the situation, he has not ruled out paring him and Trivante Stewart, one of the league’s best strikers in their playoff run, but it would depend on what is good for the team.
But what Whitmore has stressed is that they are taking their pursuit of winning the JPL in phases.
So far, he said that he is pleased with the team and his staff and what they are building as they hope to take that next step.
“We have to take it in stages. Once we are in the playoffs the next objective is in the semi-finals and now we will take it from there,” Whitmore said, “The technical staff has been doing a wonderful job. I am pleased with the progress that we are making.”
Mount Pleasant will face regular season champions Arnett Gardens in the first leg of the semi-finals on Monday.