Former Empire striker defends achievements, rejects claims he had easy time in Premier Division

Striker Conrad “Boast” Whyte (back row, third from left) poses with a successful Empire team from the ‘90s.
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By Neto Baptiste

Former Empire FC striker, Conrad “Boast” Whyte, has stanchly rejected claims that he benefited from the hard work of other players during the team’s four-peat top flight championship run spanning 1997 to 2001.

Whyte finished as the league’s chief marksman in 2000/2001 with 21 goals from 18 matches while leading the scoring one season later with 26 strikes from the same number of matches.

“I hear the naysayers who would say that ‘Boast don’t run and he just stands up there and wait to score goals’, but you know what I say to that? Those people are idiots and they have no idea of the concept of team sports. Epilus [Veron Edwards] Gantone [Andy Nesbitt], nobody would have known us if we didn’t play together as well as we did,” he said.

“I provided the finish, Epilus provided the pass, Quashie provided the dribbling aspect, Gantone provided the pressure or the heading, House [Mervyn Lee] provided the defensive role, Mervyn Tittle [Wiser] provided that stableness in midfield or when he was playing centre back, so everybody had their role. This is how football is supposed to be played and this is how I teach the game,” he added.

The striker, who was known to be clinical in front of goal, was often accused of not being active enough on the pitch and too dependent on teammates to open up scoring opportunities for him.

Whyte said each player had a role to play and he made sure he executed his to the best of his ability.

“I have benefited hugely, and people know me because of my exploits with Empire, but they also know everybody else because of the exploits, because if I wasn’t putting the ball into the goal we would not have won the games, and if they weren’t providing the passes I wouldn’t be able to put the ball in the goal. That is why I laugh when I see people looking at teams and individuals. Yes, you need some individualism, but the ball should be shared and you need players of a certain ability,” he said.

Empire has won 13 Premier Division titles with the first coming in 1969 and the last in 2000/2001.

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