Thomas firing Dunbeholden into uncharted territory
Dunbeholden are making the case of being legitimate Red Stripe Premier League(RSPL) play-off contenders.
The St Catherine-based team have made a strong start to the second round, having put together a four-match unbeaten run, which has seen them vaulted into the top six for the first time in the club's history. It has been a clear contrast to how they started the season in September with back-to-back defeats.
Striker Dean Andre Thomas has been the centre piece of their successful run as he has scored eight times already in the campaign, equalling his total effort from last season . His eighth goal of the season came in their 2-1 win over defending champions Portmore United. It was the second consecutive win over Portmore this year and he credits his performance to his renewed confidence and mindset, a recent reversal in fortune over their rivals to the hard work being put in.
"Last year I did an interview and I said last year when I started the season I didn't focus, I didn't believe in myself that I could do it. But I told them that this year is going to be my year," he told STAR Sports
Thomas admitted that the slow pre-season preparations contributed to their poor start to the campaign and while it has taken them a while to get settled, he believes that their recent performances have warranted them being in the conversation for the play-offs.
"Preseason we never started well. We started late. Everything we did late. We didn't expect any better because in everything we started slow. But as the season progressed, we decided that Dunbeholden is not going to be a relegation team. We are fighting for top six. Now we are at top six. The focus now to fight for top two because top two give you automatic spot to the semi -finals. That's what we are aiming for.,"
While he has become the main goal-scoring threat for the team, he credits the play of midfielder Nickoy Christian, who has provided Thomas with the majority of his goals this year.
"Once he plays well, I always score. As long as he is on his A game because he can pass the ball well. Most of my goals this season, he is the main man assisting me right through," he said.
Assistant coach Andrew Fraser has previously called on other players to do their part to make sure that the responsibility is not solely on Thomas. Although he doesn't mind being the focal point of the attack, he is encouraged when other players manage to score as well.
"It's not a real burden for me but when you see other persons get on the score sheet it's a plus for the team because if I don't show up one game, somebody else can step up and score," he said.
Thomas is confident of the potential of his team predicting that they are on the verge of challenging for the title sooner rather than later.
"We know that we are a very good team and we know that in the next two to three years, Dunbeholden is going to be a championship team." he said.
Dunbeholden will look to continue moving up the table when they host Tivoli Gardens on Sunday at Royal Lakes at 3 p.m.