RSPL Rumble: Will Mount Pleasant and Dunbeholden escape relegation curse?

September 14, 2018
Craig Gayle (right) celebrating with teammates after scoring in a playoff encounter against Wadadah FC for promotion to the Red Stripe Premier League at the Dunbeholden Complex on June 10.
Mount Pleasant Football Academy player Devon Hodges (left) and Kessian Hall.
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Dunbeholden FC and Mount Pleasant Academy will make their debuts in the Red Stripe Premier League this weekend.

But they will face a mammoth task of staying in the league as history suggests that one of them will be relegated at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Both teams have set their sights on taking up permanent residency in the nation's top flight as their coaches have indicated intentions to make it to the play-offs this season.

Mount Pleasant, with their English owner, Peter Gould, spent lavishly in the off season to acquire some of the league's best players, and renowned coach Donavan Duckie, who lifted Waterhouse FC from a relegation battle to the league final last season.

Having done that, they have convinced experts around the league that not only are they ready to finish above the relegation zone this season, but make a run for the title.

But Dunbeholden has a young team and will have to fight hard to stay in the competition.

Only once in the last five RSPL seasons, did both promoted teams escape relegation. That happened in the 2015/16 campaign with Portmore United and UWI FC, both survived in the league. Portmore made it to the final of the competition that year and were beaten by Montego Bay United. UWI registered 13 wins to finish fifth in the competition as Rivoli and Cavalier FC were demoted.

In the 2013/14 campaign, August Town and Rivoli United were promoted. August Town finished last that season and were relegated.

The 2014/15 season saw Barbican and FC Reno earning spots in the nation's top flight, but the St Andrew-based side only lasted one season.

In 2016/17, both Maverley-Hughenden and Vere United (formerly Jamalco FC) were eliminated after they were promoted, while Sandals South Coast FC were given the boot at the end of the last campaign after they were promoted with Cavalier at the start of the season.

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