By Neto Baptiste
Coach of the Sandals/Inet Grenades Football Club, Derrick Edwards, is optimistic about his team’s chances of taking this year’s Premier Division football title, given their unusual bright start in this year’s competition.
The Jennings team sit at second in the standings due only to goal difference after winning two and drawing one of their three fixtures to date, placing them on seven points alongside leaders Richie Rich Five Islands also on seven points.
“I think this is one of the best starts we’ve had for the last three years, so I am happy with the start, with the performance of the guys. They seem to want to win and I think they are working hard on the training pitch and I think the trainer is doing an excellent job,” he said.
“The players are buying into what we are taking forward this season in terms of the systems, the strategies, game by game because every game, you have to go in with a different strategy based on the team you are playing, and I think they have bought into it. I see that the camaraderie is real good,” he added.
Known for their mass importation of players on an annual basis, Edwards said the team has only employed the services of seven oversea-based players this year, including goalkeeper Francois Joseph out of St Lucia. This, in spite of having the services of national goalkeeper, Prince Walters.
Edwards said this was one of the areas where he felt they lost the title in 2018/19.
“Last year, we lost the championship because we didn’t have a second quality goalkeeper, and we were not going to make the same mistake [this year]. Prince has started working in the hotel and when you start to work in the hotels you can’t get enough time to train … so we brought in a goalkeeper who we will have on the pitch every … I think he is doing an excellent job between the sticks so far,” the former national coach said. Premier Division football will break this weekend to accommodate Friday’s CONCACAF Nations League clash between the visiting Jamaica Reggae Boyz and the Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.