'Bigga' quits Arnett - Says new culture doesn't suit his style

April 18, 2018
Oneil Thompson
file Arnett Gardens' defender Oneil Thompson (right) challenges Tivoli Gardens' Jermaine Johnson during a Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in 2016.

After enduring a controversy-filled season, which ended with a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Waterhouse in the semi-final of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on Monday, Arnett Gardens captain Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson said that he is ready to leave the club.

Thompson , who led the Junglists to two RSPL titles, said a change of culture at the club has rendered his leadership style useless, and therefore a change is necessary at this time.

"I have been at Arnett Gardens for 11 years, and I don't think certain things are valued as they used to be. I don't think I can continue with them in terms of leading them in the right direction, so I think I will have to move to somewhere else," Thompson told STAR Sports.

Arnett Gardens, who won the RSPL title last year, started the season off well with an impressive 19-game streak before things started to go south after a wage dispute.

Their woes even got worse when a group of players signed a petition to have the president of the club, Patrick Roberts, removed from his post after Member of Parliament Mark Golding refused to take up his honorary position as chairman of the club with Roberts in the picture. It was reported that Thompson was not in support of his players' stance and, as a result, relinquished the captain's armband to Damian Hyatt in the latter part of the season.

"I think it was a wrong move," Thompson said at the time.

He said it was the split in the club that even worsened the team's performance towards the end of the regular season.

"We just weren't sharp, and the players who took time off, just couldn't get back up to match level," Thompson said.

Though he has not yet decided on where he will be playing next season, the 34-year-old said that he is hoping to play for a team that will be contending for the title.

"I am going to take some time off and think about what the next move is, but I always want to win, so it makes sense to go somewhere that I can win," Thompson said.

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