St James’ football a woeful, if not pitiful mess


March 05, 2016
@Normal:Gregory Daley (front, centre) was, on Monday night, returned as president of the St James Football Association for another term. He is flanked by first vice-president, David Watt, and second vice-president, Hopeton Gilchrist. Other executives standing are (from left) general secretary, Dennis Waite; assistant general secretary, Tracey Reid; and treasurer, Gavin McNeil.

Western Bureau:

This past Monday night I attended the annual general meeting (AGM) of the St. James Football Association (STJFA) and I am now more convinced than ever that the parish's football has not only hit rock bottom but has gone to the proverbial dogs.

As one who invested over two decades of my life to St James' football, I felt most insulted as I watched the chaos and discord which reigned as the incumbent administration, which went beyond its designated term by over a year, still failed to come up with an audited financial report, which they should know is a requirement.

As I watched the likes of former administrators Orville Powell and Bryan Miller rip into the many and varied shortcomings of the Gregory Daley-led administration, it was a rather pitiful sight to see the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) vice president Bruce Gaynor, who was a member of the FA's bungling outfit, trying to defend what was clearly indefensible.

It is no wonder that a parish, which once had four teams in the Red Stripe Premier League football competition at one time, inclusive of the two finalists in one season, is now a parish without respect as except for Montego Bay United Football Club (MBUFC), which is basically operating independently of the parish association, is the parish's only claim to fame in terms of meaningful football.

absolute disgrace

As I spoke to some of the old colleagues with whom I served during my time as an administrator with the St James FA, they basically were all saying the very same thing, St James football had fallen from pride of place to a state of absolute disgrace.

Orville Powell, who came to the AGM to challenge the incumbent Daley clearly became so flustered in questioning the absence of an audited financial report, he simply lost his cool as he pretty much slammed all and sundry, including the affiliates, for allowing the board to make such a mockery of the parish's football over the past four years.

beloved product

As one who walked away from St James football several years ago when big egos took charge and in collaboration with the equally inept JFF, presided over the destruction of what men like Wesmore Thomas, Gene Gray, Weston King and other stalwarts built, I feel sad for what has become of what was a beloved product.

Personally, I am sorry and sad for Daley and his team, who were given another term in leadership, because, based on the state of what has become of the parish, which once had such excellent pedigree, it is difficult to see them achieving anything of real substance.

As things are, I am just hoping and praying that MBU will continue to shine on the Red Stripe Premier League and Caribbean Club Championship circuit because, if they should fall off the radar, the next generation will not even get a taste of what once existed. Personally, it might ultimately be a good thing that Powell did not take over the StJFA as, with all its issues it has, it could have diverted his attention away from MBU.

As one who has no intention of supporting mediocrity, I will continue to withhold my support from the St. James FA. Whenever I feel the urge to watch a football at the domestic level, I will continue to make the 20 minutes drive over to Trelawny, where their product has some semblance of sense about it.

To be honest, I believe that Daley is a young man with good intentions and given the right set of circumstances could succeed. However, with the hidden hands behind the scene, manipulating the operations of the parish , I believe that he too will become frustrated before long and walk away like those of us who have already step aside.

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