Talent galore - Football whizz says west full of talent

July 11, 2017
Sandals players celebrate qualifying for the Premier League at the Stadium East field recently.
From left: Reno's captain Renorio Downswell, Craig Foster and Omar Johnson.
Sandals south Coast Dervin Campbell celebrates after scoring a vital goal in the Magnum/Charley's JB JFF Red Stripe Premier League playoff game at the Stdaium East field recently.

Technical director of Reno FC, Wendel Downswell, believes that there is enough talent in the west to support two Westmoreland clubs in the upcoming Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season set to kick off on September 3.

With the historic qualification of Sandals South Coast in the nation's top-flight league, three-time national champions Reno FC will have company from the same parish. That will be the first time in 38 years.

'It is good for the parish to have two teams in the premier league. There is an abundance of talent in Westmoreland and neighbouring parishes to serve both clubs," Downswell told WESTERN STAR.

"It won't be any major worry. We had it before with Westland and Reno in 1979. In that season, the teams were placed in two zones and Westland and Reno led their zones at one stage," he added.

Sandals South Coast qualified for the premier league for the first time after a second-place finish in the recently concluded Magnum/Charley's JB/JFF promotion play-off series. Cavalier finished on top with 10 points ahead of Sandals (nine) as the two qualifiers, while Rivoli United ended on eight points and Priory SA (four).

The qualification of Sandals means that three western Jamaica teams Reno, Sandals, and Montego Bay will play in the premier league next year.

"It is also good for the western region. Hopefully, they can establish themselves and do the parish proud," Downswell said.

Meanwhile, president of the Westmoreland Football Association, Everton Tomlinson, said that it is good that Sandals South Coast is in the premier league.

"In terms of organisation, it is good for Sandals to be there. Sandals have the resources so we are looking for them to set an example," Tomlinson said.

"Reno can't take everybody, so there is another Westmoreland club as an option for players," he added.

"I am looking forward to a meeting with Sandals South Coast management early this week," the former Western Confederation football boss said.

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