Fear of 'bush league' inspires Portmore

May 05, 2017
Shavar Campbell (right) of Tivoli Gardens and Henrico Ricketts of Portmore United lock horns in their Red Stripe Premier League quarter-final at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on April 24.

Portmore United's captain, Ewan Grandison, said the fear of playing in local football's 'bush leagues' lifted the club to the final last year and now semifinalists this season.

Grandison said the team faced the harsh realities of lower- league football while contesting the 2014-2015 St Catherine Major League, following its demotion from the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at the end of the 2014 season.

He said that after returning to the top-flight contest for the 2015-2016 season, the players are determined to stay as far away from relegation as possible.

"Playing the Major League, you don't even hear a national anthem play. You go to games and the players you are going to play against are smoking before they come on the field. You play many games and it doesn't even come on the news, and you find out that you are really in 'bush league'," Grandison told STAR Sports.

He said that is one of the reasons the team has been a title contender since their return.

They will face UWI FC in the RSPL semi-finals at Wembley Centre of Excellence on Sunday at 3 p.m. One of the keys to the club making an immediate return to the Premier League was their ability to keep many of their young, up-and-coming stars, including Grandison, who briefly entertained the idea of joining another club.

"I said I was going to give another club a try, but decided to stay and give Portmore another season.

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