Under-20 coach Clarke thanks Waite for opportunities
Arnett Gardens Under-20 championship side coach Orlando Clarke said that he dedicated the title to the club's senior team head coach Jerome Waite for bringing him to the 'Jungle'.
"Coach Waite believes in my ability and offered me a role to be his assistant and I took it without hesitation two years ago," Clarke told STAR Sports following his team's 2-0 triumph against Tivoli Gardens in the Alliance MoneyGram/McKay Security/KSAFA Under-20 final at Waterhouse Stadium last Wednesday night.
Chevron Bryan and Kimani Arboine were the goal scorers for the champions.
Clarke praised Waite who guided the 'Junglists' to their fifth national club title with a 2-2 win over Portmore United in the Red Stripe Premier League final on June 5 at the National Stadium.
"I must say thanks to Jerome for showing faith in me. He called and I joined the club in 2015 and since that we have won two senior titles and one Under-20 title," Clarke said about Waite who is away in Martinique as the Reggae Boyz assistant coach in the Caribbean Cup tournament.
"It's all about a system at Arnett that coach Waite comes implemented that is paying off," the Under-20 head coach explained.
Clarke said winning the junior title is an early birthday gift.
He started playing the sport at age seven, then represented Camperdown High School in the Under-14 and Under-16 competitions but did not move onto the Manning Cup because his grades dropped.
"My grades were dropping and my mother Adasha Clarke stopped me from training with the Manning Cup team," he said.
However, his early introduction to coaching came when he was 15 year-old. The head of sports at Camperdown Lancelot Livingston asked him to take charge as coach of the Colts (Under-16) team.
Clarke's first official job as coach came in 1992 at Orange Villa Under-14 club team. Among his noted players back then was former national players Ricardo Fuller and George Vernal.
He went back to his alma mater as official coach of the Under-16 team in 1993-04 season. In 1995, he joined Waite at Charlie Smith and they guided the Trench Town-based school to triple crown with noted players such as Kevin Wilson, Kwame Richardson, Everton Bunsie, Eugene Barnes and Cornel Chin-Sue.
Clarke also coached Wolmer's Boys in the Under-13 where the team was beaten 0-1 by Excelsior in the final in 1997.