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June 11, 2011
Star Sport


 

Seba should set a solid foundation


File - Bruce Gaynor

Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau:

After spending the last three years in the Digicel Premier League (DPL) wilderness, the parish of St James is back on the radar following Seba United's qualification for the upcoming DPL season by virtue of their top-two finish in the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) four-team confederation play-off series.

Having watched several of the play-off games, I believe Seba United should be commended for their success, as while there were many glaring deficiencies in the team's play, it was quite clear that the players were always willing to dig deep whenever the situation warranted it.

There is absolutely no question that the 2010-11 season was a fantastic one for Seba. In fact, had they not decided to field a weakened team in their final game in the Captain's Bakery Super League, which they lost, they would likely have completed the season unbeaten.

super league title

While Peruvian coach Danilo Barriga, who guided the Seba United team to the western super league title, is no longer with the team following an acrimonious split, I believe he, along with club president Bruce Gaynor and team manager Kareen 'Virgin' Kelly, deserves a lot of credit for keeping the players focused on the mission to return to the DPL.

Based on the reaction of a number of prominent football stakeholders in the St James FA, including FA president Texchus Nembhard and vice-president David Watt, Seba seem poised to receive significant backing in their bid to recapture the kind of glory that led them to be crowned national champions twice.

From my perspective, if Seba intend to do well in the upcoming DPL season, they will need to go on a serious recruitment drive. At present, except for possibly two or three players, I think the team is lacking real quality and depth and require significant strengthening.

I know that there might be a temptation to want to reward the players who won qualification for the Seba United outfit. However, I believe the team's management needs to think and act wisely because if the wrong path is taken, the team could be setting the stage for relegation rather than charting a path to success.

For those who don't subscribe to the idea of replacing ageing veterans with gifted youngsters, I believe that while experience is good, it probably only adds up to about 20 per cent of the requirement for a player to succeed in a league showcasing the best players in the country.

If one should look back at the Reno experience of the 1980s, the club's management took a bold decision to invest in Rusea's daCosta Cup stars such as Michael Graham, the late Caple Donaldson, Easton Smith, Donald Hewitt, Mark 'Haglar' Wilson and Aaron Lawrence and within three years, they delivered the Premier League title to the club.

Personally, I hope Seba will take serious measures to ensure that the management team stays focused and not fall into the trap that resulted in their relegation three years ago. The players are the most important asset of any team and as a consequence, every effort should be made to ensure that the players are happy.

Come the start of the 2011-12 DPL season, I will be rooting for all three western teams, Seba United, Reno and Village United. I believe if western Jamaica is to one again become the seat of power in national football, these teams, along with the likes of Wadadah and Violet Kickers, must become major forces nationally once again.

NB: Feel free to send your feedback to adrianfrater@hotmail.com

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