Hyatt among players cut by Arnett Gardens

August 25, 2020
Arnett Gardens’ Paul Wilson (left) escapes from Vere United’s Javeir Brown during their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
Arnett Gardens’ Paul Wilson (left) escapes from Vere United’s Javeir Brown during their Red Stripe Premier League game at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon on Sunday, December 8, 2019.

Arnett Gardens veteran goalkeeper Damion Hyatt, one of many players from the club who have received letters of termination or did not have their contract renewed recently, said he is disappointed he is not returning to the club.

The 34 year-old Hyatt, who has been with the west Kingston-based club for more than a decade, winning two Premier League titles along the way, said his arrangement with Arnett Gardens finished at the end of last season. He noted that he was anticipating a renewal up until the point when he received an email stating that the club would not be renewing his contract.

"My contract ended and they (Arnett Gardens) didn't renew it. I was looking to renew it but they sent me an email saying they cannot afford to renew my contract. I feel bad (disappointed) to know that I am at Arnett 13 years and won seven trophies and this happened, but life goes on," Hyatt said.

STAR Sports could not confirm the number of players not returning to Arnett Gardens, but the clear out includes seasoned campaigners such as Tamar Edwards, Ricardo Oldham, Jamar Martin, Jabari Jackson and Javoni Simms.

Mainly senior players

"The players they let go are mainly senior players and that can be good and bad. We just have to wait until the season starts before we can see the whole impact," said Hyatt, who revealed he has a number of offers on the table already.

Meanwhile, Arnett Gardens chairman, Mark Golding, said the global health crisis made it very difficult for the club to maintain their regular arrangements with players. He also wants to find a sustainable community football model that will reflect the new standards in the world game.

"We realised the situation is going to be very difficult for professional clubs for a while. A number of our players their contracts had expired, so we took a look at the squad and the future and decided to adjust the squad. We are trying to get to a squad in the mid-20s (quota), more in keeping with international standards, so there were players we decided we couldn't offer a new contract. But we are hoping that many of the players we weren't able to offer new contracts will find other opportunities," he commented.

"I am trying to build a sustainable football community club in the 21st century where standards have gone up, standards are imposed by the international bodies like FIFA, Concacaf and the JFF, with those standards come additional cost and requirements, so doing that requires difficult decision.

" But these decisions are not made willingly and casually, they are made with the long-term interest of the community in mind, which I think will be best served when we find a sustainable football model for this club," he continued.

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