Francis heads back to the drawing board

September 16, 2016
Patrick Planter/ Photographer (from left) Stephen Francis-coached MVP athletes Elaine Thompson, Julian Forte, and Christania Williams following their arrival back on the island from Europe on Tuesday at the Norman Manley Airport.
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Stephen Francis
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MVP Track and Field Club coach Stephen Francis is eager to build on the success of his charges who excelled at the Rio Olympics and on the Diamond League circuit, noting that he has about 100 athletes in his fold waiting to be the next generation of stars.

Francis and several of his athletes were toasted in fine style during an official 'Welcome Home' party on Tuesday night inside Pineapple Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Francis said his MVP camp's ultimate goal is to try and produce athletes while remaining a viable business.

"We will probably have a 100 kids at training when I report on Monday morning (September 19), and we have to try and see how their different ambitions and different dreams come in," said Francis, who works from the University of Technology (UTech) in Papine.

"The goal that we have is to try and help these kids achieve these goals that they may or may not make," he added.

The outspoken coach said it is back to the drawing board for his MVP base, stressing the season starts as early as next week for him.

"For next season, a lot of these guys and the babies up at UTech are eager to start training, and, of course, there are some things that we have done this year that I believe were mistakes, and some we didn't do, so we are going to use the next three to five days and concretise all of that and start anew."

Francis, who was awarded an Order of Distinction (OD) in 2008, was also high on the agenda of the night's discussion, and applauded for his contribution to the development of local athletes over the years.

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