RSPL Coach of the Month (January): My track record speaks for itself - Donovan Duckie
In the 2015/2016 season former Premier League powerhouses Waterhouse only managed to stave off relegation on the last day on the season with a hefty win over Boys' Town. The following year they did one better by saving themselves on the second to last match day and with a third season threatening to go in a similar fashion they decided that a third time could be unlucky for them.
With that in the back of their minds, they decided to listen to the people and get coach Donovan Duckie, a man who had brief but successful stints with them previously. Though a much travelled coach, the man who spent eight years with Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has developed a reputation of a fixer or miracle worker.
"My track record speaks for itself. I think I have distinguished myself for years and I have been very consistent. I have worked with teams such as Star Cosmos and St Georges where I have won the Super League. I also worked behind the scenes with Benfica when they won the Super League. I also made Montego United competitive and put them in a position to win the League and after I left they went on to win it.
"Humble Lion the last club I was with, I took them out of a struggling position and got them to the position of League winners last year but we fell short in the knock out," said Duckie, who earned valuable experience by being around former national coaches Velibor 'Bora' Milutinovic, Rene Simoes and the late George Thompson before them, while he kept goal for the JDF.
The holder of UTech/JMMB/JFF Advanced Level 1 and 2 Coaching certificates as well as National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Youth Diploma, National Diploma (Distinction and NSCAA Premier Diploma was required to demonstrate his fixing skills immediately as Waterhouse hovered above relegation only bettering the then 11th-place Boys' Town on goal difference.
Duckie gradually steadied the ship and lifted the team to a position of respectability. From December 17 to the end of January he led them on an eight-game unbeaten run and a position of fifth in the 12-team table with 33 points. In the month of January Waterhouse played five matches, had two wins and did not concede a single goal.
"We did things that the community never expected us to do. When we spoke to the wider community they expressed that there were 18 players that they thought we should let go, however we kept them and worked with them."
Name: Donovan Duckie
Quote: "We introduced new and different methods of training as well as psychological work particularly on intrinsic motivation."