Every year a different challenge - Clarke admits 'sitting on the edge of our seats'
Been there, done that, coach Michael Clarke suggested as he took a relaxed back seat during Calabar's celebrations on Saturday night after being in the driver's role for five days, steering the Red Hills Road team to a sixth consecutive victory at Boys and Girls' Champs.
With 16 titles under his belt, eight at Calabar, seven at Jamaica College and one at St Jago, Clarke prefers to stay behind the scenes these days, while his young charges bask in the victory of winning Champs.
Assistant coach Omar Hawes led the Calabar team into celebration.
"I have not seen him as yet but before we came around here the last thing he said to me was whatever happens, happens, we just need to win. We can't predict what will happen but let's hope it happens for us," Hawes quoted Clarke as saying earlier Saturday.
While Calabar celebrated, Clarke was nowhere to be found. Again, yesterday, at the Red Hills Road school's trophy celebration, Clarke was not present.
Tracked down by STAR Sports, Clarke said he was ably represented.
"No, I didn't turn up. I am ably represented by my fellow coaches and management people. I think I have had my share of that, I let the younger ones bask and enjoy their moment of glory," he said.
Having won the title on 16 occasions, Clarke remains unfazed by the attention and limelight, saying he prefers to work from behind the scenes.
"Having gone through as much as I have gone through over the years, getting the job done was the primary objective. How many times did you say I have won again, 16, that much?"
Reflecting on the weekend's win, Clarke said there were some nerves involved that saw them "sitting on the edge of our seats near to the finish", pointing out that defending the coveted title each year is not as easy as it seems.
"Yes, it does become challenging, as you can imagine, because every year presents a different challenge, and a different adaptation to the circumstance in which you find yourself. We use the experiences of the past to influence the decision of the present," he said.