Medley Mixers dedicate Guinness title to dead manager
Medley Mixers have dedicated their national title in the Guinness Street Football Challenge to former manager Jason Taylor.
The St Catherine champions swamped Westmoreland's Grange Hill Alliance 5-0 in the final at Half-Way Tree Square on Sunday night, then paid tribute to Taylor, who was shot and killed on Ash Wednesday (February 10).
Medley Mixers claimed the national title courtesy of goals by Ataphoroy Blagrove, Rajiel Parkinson, Rohan Williams, Kurt Richards, and Dujon Hilton. The champions won the trophy and cash incentive of $200,000. Grange Hill Alliance won $100,000 for second place.
They will represent Jamaica in the regional Guinness Street Football Challenge tournament in St Lucia on July 2 and 3.
Medley Mixers dominated the tournament and was clearly the best team on show.
"He (Taylor) should have been here, but he was killed on Ash Wednesday. He would be smiling and enjoying the victory, so it is definitely for him," Jeffrey Kerr, coach of Medley Mixers, told STAR Sports.
Kerr added that the team deserved the title after failing in previous years.
"We have always been in the national finals and finally winning it. The players are all inner-city youth, so I'm elated," the coach added.
Leaford Pearce, captain of the Grange Hill Alliance team, was disappointed that his team lost so badly in the final.
"We are really disappointed. It was not the margin, but how we approached the game. We dropped our heads early and became indisciplined in our approach. We are hoping to be back next year, as this should make us stronger," Pearce said.
Blagrove, who collected $20,000 and the Golden Boot award for the top goalscorer with six goals was naturally elated that his team won the national title.
"Well, it is a great feeling as we were always confident in winning. I want to give thanks to the coach and teammates for helping me to win the Golden Boot," Blagrove said.
Meanwhile, national Futsal head coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, who followed the competition, was impressed by the talent on show.
"I'm impressed with the Medley Mixers players, as well as other talent in the competition. We will put together a pool of 40 players for the Futsal programme," Whitmore disclosed.
Although, the four-a-side street football is a bit different from the five-a-side Futsal that includes a goalkeeper, Whitmore pointed out that they will have to adjust for the Futsal."