Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Barbican ready for Premier League challenge

Published:Wednesday | June 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer

Barbican Football Club is aware of the challenges ahead in its debut season in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football competition.

The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Super League champions entered the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) All-Island Confederations play-off series with an 'underdog' tag but surprised many experts by topping the series after the final round last Sunday.

Barbican finished on 11 points from six games, while Reno and Jamalco ended with nine points apiece; however, Reno also qualified by virtue of a superior goal difference. Axum, the other competitor, ended on two points in the cellar position.

2-1 win

On Sunday, Barbican defeated Axum 2-1 at the St Mary Sports Complex. Now, assured of a place among the 12 teams for the upcoming Red Stripe Premier League season, Barbican's executive body has already started the planning process.

"I have been a person involved in football for a long time and I'm not an emotional individual. However, when we won the game last Sunday, I was very happy," Christopher 'Chris' James, Barbican FC vice-president and manager, told The Gleaner.

"It has been euphoria in 'Uptown', not only in Barbican, but also in surrounding communities such as Grants Pen and Jacks Hill. They are excited to have a team in the island's top-flight football competition," James, who has been around Barbican for the past 30 years, added.

Looking ahead, James said they need to upgrade on several fronts.

"There are certain things that need to be addressed. There are plans in place for the field to be resurfaced, and that will be dealt with as we had received commitments for that before. The perimeter fencing and changing facility need to be upgraded," James pointed out.

"We have to find about $15 million in order to run the football for the upcoming Red Stripe Premier League season. The plan is to survive the first season and stay up," he said

"I think we can get the money as there are persons and businesses that have shown interest. Also, Member of Parliament for North East St Andrew Delroy Chuck has always supported the club.

"We will be meeting with the executive body to chart the plan forward," James disclosed.

Possible executive reshuffle

James indicated that there could be a reshuffle in the executive body as current president, Marshall Ogle, is in Trinidad on business. He could be replaced by Fahiv Parsard, who has been assisting the club.

The other members of the executive include David Shirley (treasurer), Donald Lyew, Raymond Beckford, Peter Thompson, and Tanya Richards.

Former Arnett Gardens Premier League player, Denton Shedden, guided the team to the KSAFA Super League title and qualification to the top league; however, a decision is to be taken as to who will be in charge of the club's senior team next season.

"We have not yet decided on who will be in charge as in addition to Shedden, there are other young coaches," James revealed.

With regard to players, he said: "We need about five to seven quality players, but we are definitely not looking for senior players."