Arnett nice again ... premier league win boosts community
Arnett Gardens' triumph over Portmore in the 2016/17 Red Stripe Premier League finals is more than a win for a football club, it is a victory for the community and its people.
Norman Jones, who says he was one of the original members of the team when the club was founded in 1977, believes that football is the glue that keeps the community together.
"If you were at the stadium last night (Monday), basically everybody weh live inna the community lef the community last night and go inna the National Stadium, he said.
Jones, who was a goalkeeper, said the community has come a far way in reducing the violence that surrounds football matches.
"Inna my time, Arnett couldn't go a Tivoli go play, Tivoli couldn't come a Arnett come play. We did affi play a Camp under security," he said.
Jones is urging corporate companies to invest in Arnett and other premier league clubs.
Lot of improvement
"The outcry in general is that some entity have to step in and help sponsor the football cause the litte club them can't handle it by themselves. If the corporate companies them come in and help, yu woulda find a lot of improvement because it woulda tek on that more professional aspect like how them do schoolboy football," he said.
Some residents said the community needs an academy to get youth interested in football from an early age and keep them away from a life of crime.
Rachel George, who says she has been supporting Arnett since she was 15, says "Anytime Arnett win, it bring back love inna the community."
"Football bring a love and joy inna the community cause when the man dem a gwaan, everybody bathe and come out and a support. All some people weh neva really like football a come out a support," she added.
The club's administrator, Gregory Hall, said there are plans for a party to celebrate the success at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Friday.
He says,"Football does everything for a community like Arnett. Arnett is the mainstay of the community.When Arnett team is doing well, there is relatively no violence in the community cause everybody from up here want to make sure that they can come through the gates without any problem."
He says that he is proud that the club overcame many adversities to lift the title.
"My standout moment would be the 1-0 victory over Boys Town in the second round because the club was in turmoil at that time. The player's weren't training, there were staff cuts, salary cuts and in the midst of that we were able to come out and pull off a victory," he said.