Speid hoping Atkinson will get big break in 2023
Cavalier forward Dwayne Atkinson has the backing of his technical director, Rudolph Speid, that his maturity will lead to consistent success in this new Jamaica Premier League season. He also hopes that it will be the last year that Atkinson suits up in a Cavalier uniform, as they are eyeing an overseas switch for the player.
Despite their season-opening 2-1 loss to Arnett Gardens on Monday night, Atkinson was one of the bright sparks of the game, causing the Arnett Gardens defence numerous problems and also setting up Christopher Ainsworth's 55th-minute opener. However, Ajuma Johnson would equalise in the 67th minute, and Rivaldo Mitchell got the winner in the 96th minute, as Cavalier would finish with 10 men because of a Kyle Ming red card.
Speid says that Atkinson is embracing the responsibility of being the playmaker for the Cavalier team and should his strong start continue, he could be poised for the long-awaited chance away from Jamaica.
"This should be Dwayne Atkinson's last season at Cavalier. He really is in top form now. He is really a handful. it is just a matter of time before he gets rewarded, and hope this is the last season he plays for Cavalier," Speid said.
That responsibility comes as Cavalier have had to reshuffle their team from last year, with a number of players from last season no longer with the club. But Speid is pleased with the way he has started this campaign, picking up where he left off last season.
"We lost 12 players from the squad that played last year. So you can definitely see that Atkinson is taking a lot of responsibility on his head. I remember last year he actually scored 10 goals, and a lot of them were some stunners," Speid said. "So if he continues in that vein - and it looks like he is going to pick up where he left off - I think he has a bright future."
It is a future that he is optimistic about, although he did not say whether there was outside interest for the Kingston College past student.