Western Grandstand- Of Orville Powell and visionary leadership


December 05, 2015

Western Grandstand- Of Orville Powell and visionary leadership

Adrian Frater

The more I see of Orville Powell's bold bid to revolutionise Jamaica's football, the more I understand why some individuals within the halls of power in the Jamaica Football Federation want to keep him as far away as possible from any top level position within the federation.

While the struggling JFF is constantly being burdened by numerous persons who are seemingly more interested in what they can get instead of what they can give, the astute Powell has quietly been building a fantastic football empire at Montego Bay United Football Club (MBUFC), which is second to none in Jamaica

When Powell acquired the Seba United franchise in 2011 and renamed the team MBUFC, I was one of those persons who felt it was a bad move. However, after listening to the rationale behind the decision, especially in regards to capitalising on Montego Bay's international tourism brand, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Since the team was renamed, it has been transformed from an amateur to a professional outfit with international coaches from all over the world coming in to lift the quality and standards of the club's football offering. It was no surprise to me that MBUFC won Red Stripe NPL two seasons ago, and was the beaten finalist last year.

modern gymnasium

One of the things that Powell has done, which I believe has set MBUFC apart from all other local clubs, is the creation of its home facility, the WesPow Park. The facility includes living accommodation for the players, a modern gymnasium, office spaces, a restaurant, a swimming pool, a futsal field, two practise fields and a main playing field.

It should be noted that the facility is complemented by a world class go-kart track, jogging trail and hill-side cabins, which makes it a perfect location for camping for local and international sporting organisations. It should be noted that the entire facility is solar-powered.

Because of the club's penchant for recruiting high quality overseas coaches, its entire football programme, which features teams at various age levels, has been churning out exceptional young players. Additionally, the younger players regularly participate in overseas tournaments, getting them much-needed early international exposure.

requisite training

Only recently, Powell orchestrated the twinning of MBUFC with the United States-based Valeo FC Football Academy, a move designed to fast-track the development of the young players for the international market. Interestingly, the programme is designed to facilitate both male and female players in all the age groups.

In what is another first for any football club in Jamaica, Powell has gone out and secured the required equipment to stream his home games in the Red Stripe NPL via the Internet.

Since the streaming has started, persons aligned to the club have been receiving the requisite training, which will ultimately make them proficient in short order.

Having proven that he is a true ambassador in the development of football in Jamaica and by extension the wider the CONCACAF region, since MBUFC recently participated in the CONCACAF Club Championship, no one can seriously question Powell's commitment to the sports because unlike others, he is putting his money where his mouth is.

So as I stated above, in an environment where Jamaica's football is being stifled by self-serving procrastinators, who have become masters of inept leadership, Powell's vision and penchant for making good things happen would further expose them as the jokers they are.

Ps. Feel free to send your feedback to adrianfrater@hotmail.com.

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