Started from bottom, now we're here - Lawrence

July 05, 2017
Sandals players celebrate qualifying for the Premier League at the Stadium East field recently.

Sandals South Coast coach Aaron Lawrence said there are immediate plans to improve Crocs Lawn into one of the best stadiums locally, after the team made a historic berth into next season's Premier League.

"When I get back home this week, I will meet with the general manager of Sandals South Coast (Adrian Whitehead) in order to start work on the field," said Lawrence, who is in Cayman as coach of Jamaica's Under-15 team.

"Mr Whitehead, who reports to CEO Adam Stewart, said they had already signed off on improving the field, putting stands and other facilities in place for the Premier League," he added.

However, with only two months before the new season, there is a back-up plan for playing home games if the venue is not ready.

"We would use either St Elizabeth Technical or Frome to host home games if our place is not ready. I am not saying that our venue won't be ready in time, but putting things in place in case," Lawrence pointed out.

Sandals qualified for the first time in their history after a 1-1 draw against Cavalier last Sunday at Stadium East.

Lawrence said though he missed the game, he was in constant contact with the team, learning of the final score from a friend in Montego Bay.

He is already planning to improve his team with players who will fit their system of play.

"We have to look forward to a professional environment with the intention to get players overseas. We have to build and learn, stay in the league, then start thinking about winning. We want to be a major force in Jamaica and the region," Lawrence reasoned.

'There will be better remuneration and incentives for the players, and that will change things for them and their families. We have the full support of management," he explained.

Looking back, Lawrence recalled that it all started as recreation for him and, friend Jeremy Jones 11 years ago.

"We started with just playing some ball, then entered the corner league in Westmoreland. After winning three years, we entered division football, moved to the Western Confederation league, and now we are in the Premier League," he said.

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