Waite: Current season one of the toughest

December 04, 2015
@Normal:Montego Bay United's defender Cordell Simpson (left) getting away from Arnett Gardens' Leon Strickland during a Red Stripe Premier League football match at the Montego Bay Sports Complex last year.
@Normal:Arnett Gardens' coach Jerome Waite (left) and the team's captain O'neil Thompson.<\n>
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Despite losing just one of their last 23 home matches, Arnett Gardens coach, Jerome Waite, believes the reigning Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions will be hard pressed to successfully defend their title, in what he calls "the most competitive season to date."

Waite's Arnett have lost five games on the road, and currently sit in third spot courtesy of seven wins, two draws and five losses.

They are five points behind newly promoted former champions Portmore United who are having a superb return to the top flight.

different seasons

Waite believes, however, it would be wrong to make a broad comparison with last year's campaign and this year's results and point standings after 14 games.

"Don't compare last season and this one. It's two different seasons, and teams have different sets of players. Many have moved on. There have been changes to all the teams," he said.

Waite made his observations at yesterday's Red Stripe Premier League press briefing at the Red Stripe Hospitality Suite on Spanish Town Road.

Last Sunday, Peter Keyes struck in the 35th minute to give eighth-place Boys' Town FC a 1-0 victory over Arnett, at the Barbican playing field.

Waite stressed that the teams are closely bunched in the points table and teams at the bottom of the ladder can spring surprises.

"This season is one of the most competitive we have seen. Teams outside of the top three can surprise the more fancied teams on a given day," he said.

Waite added that the local semi-professional local league had drawbacks.

"We are not playing in a professional league where we can provide housing and other support to the players.

"One day they will give 110 per cent and another day they will turn up and give 50 per cent," he stressed. Waite said they needed to operate in a more professional environment where the players can be closely monitored.

His team will face a tough Humble Lion at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday in a battle for third spot. Both teams have 23 points. However, Arnett are ahead on goal difference.

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