Coach of struggling team says Premier Division not that hard

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Despite his team having to fight to stave off relegation via a three-team round-robin playoff, one member of the Old Road football club’s coaching staff, Chesley Browne, believes that the competition at the top level has lost some sting.
Speaking following his team’s success in the playoffs where they warded off tough challenges from Fort Road and Willikies to stay in the football association’s Premier Division, Browne said it only takes a nucleus of dedicated players to do well in the top flight.
“I think it’s just basically how you structure your team and the way you going about doing things and I think the premier league is getting softer to me. I really don’t think it’s getting harder in spite of teams spending money. If you put a group of guys together and work according to a plan then you can stay in the premier league,” he said.
“Look at a team like Swetes, they have a bunch of guys who are willing to fight and if you have guys who are willing to put things on the line and fight for their team then I think it can happen,” the coach added.
Old Road, a team heavily stacked with overseas-based players, finished third from bottom in the 10-team standings with 20 points. They finished just one point ahead of Pigotts Bullets and eight points ahead of Empire who were both automatically relegated to the First Division.
Browne stopped short of saying his team may not have made the right choices regarding the players they employed this season, stating that with better planning, the team’s showing will improve next season.
“We spent a lot of money, probably the most we’ve spent for a season so it has its ups and downs, good and bad. There are a lot of things we know we could have done differently so that’s something we are definitely thinking about for the next season coming up,” he said.
Meanwhile, coach of the John Hughes team, Henry Willis, said a lack of experience played against his team’s efforts in the First Division.
“Inexperience is one because actually, it’s a young squad but John Hughes never went into the First Division this season to win. We targeted mid-table or about playoff spot because we know it’s a young squad and we’ve been running a programme for the last three years with a group of youths. We injected about three senior players into the squad but you still find that some humps [obstacles] catch us where we created the chances, didn’t put them away and lost by the one goal or the two goals,” he said.
John Hughes defeated WestHam 2-0 in the deciding Second/First Division playoff match last Sunday, to remain in the First Division. John Hughes finished 10th in the First Division which relegated them to the playoffs.

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