There is no doubt that Oneil 'Bigga' Thompson is a man who was born with the gift of leadership. The former Arnett Gardens defender and captain arrived at Humble Lion this season seeking a new challenge, but the role he stepped out into recently was probably never the challenge he envisioned.
Thompson was very involved in his team's most recent game against Waterhouse as one would expect, but what was surprising was his involvement was not from the heart of Humble Lion's defence, but rather from the touchline as coach, a place normally filled by Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey and his assistant Lijyasu Simms.
Humble Lion find themselves aspiring for the top six but dangerously flirting with the wrong end of the table and the threat of relegation, and Thompson is trying to lead his team in any way he can to get back on track.
"It's a situation that I have been asked to play a role and I am just doing that, I didn't get into questioning what the other matters are. The team finds itself in this situation and we want to help to, hopefully, turn the situation around sooner than later. Today I noticed some positives and a fight I haven't seen all season, even when I was on the pitch, so there is hope to build on going forward," said Thompson about his role and the game which his team narrowly lost 3-2.
The veteran defender who played schoolboy football at Bridgeport High School before graduation to club football at Boys' Town before moving farther afield in Norway, is no stranger to coaching. The former national player who has filled in at both central midfield and defence for his country, has thrown his hat in the ring before both at the schoolboy and collegiate levels, so though this role is new in terms of the level, he is no stranger to leading from the touchline.
"I have always been involved in coaching at different places such as St Andrew Technical High School and at Caribbean Maritime University," Thompson said.
As to whether he will be playing or coaching for the rest of the season, Thompson said it is something that he is unsure of, but he will be ready to fill any shoe he is asked to wear.
"What I know is that we will continue working," he said. "When I turn up at training sessions, I train and do whatever is asked of me, or what I am asked to do. Today I was asked to oversee the team from the sidelines and that's what I did."
Regarding questions on whether Admiral Bailey will still be in charge and the validity of claims of a rift between Bailey and the players, Thompson was very coy.
"That is a question I really can't answer because I don't know what that situation is. I didn't get into questioning what the matters are.
"As to whether the rumours of a rift are concerned, to my knowledge, there is none, nor of players voting to get him out."