Waterhouse preparing for unpredictable season

May 27, 2021
Tivoli Gardens’ Jabeur Johnson (left) tackles Waterhouse player Colorado Murray in their Jamaica Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in December 2019.
Tivoli Gardens’ Jabeur Johnson (left) tackles Waterhouse player Colorado Murray in their Jamaica Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in December 2019.
GAYLE
GAYLE
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Waterhouse head coach Marcel Gayle says that the new format for the 2020-21 Jamaica Premier League (JPL) will make it a tricky and unpredictable season.

Gayle said the shortened version will give teams less room to manoeuvre, even though his team will be much younger and more inexperienced than the one that went to the finals in 2018 and 2019.

He is confident his young team can deliver and expects it to challenge for the title.

"We have the usual experienced players like Shawn Lawes, Kenroy Howell, Nicholay Findlayson, and Ricardo Thomas, but it will be mainly a youthful team," he said.

"It has been a good synergy. This is now an opportunity for them to showcase their talent and they are under no pressure, really, even though football is a high-pressure situation, but we expect them to go out and express themselves," he contended.

Little room for error

Waterhouse lost key players from the team that got them to the 2018 and 2019 finals. These are former captain Keithy Simpson, goalkeeper Diego Haughton, and talisman Tremaine Stewart, who left for Dunbeholden before his passing recently.

However, Gayle said that the greatest concern in the quest for the title this term will be the shortened season and the little room teams will have for error.

"It's a new format and we expect a tighter challenge," he said. "Opponents will be a little more tricky based on the limited time of the competition and preparation time to get back to your optimum, so we anticipate that things will be a little closer this year.

"But with the quality of my team, barring none, we expect to go out and fight to go all the way. That is what we prepare for all the time, to compete for trophies, and we will do everything with all our might to win."

The JPL starts on June 26 and finishes on September 26. The 12 teams will play each other once, before they are separated at the end of the preliminary round into two groups.

The bottom six teams will play to determine final placings. The top two teams will qualify automatically for the semi-finals, while the other four teams will play off for the two other semi-final places, over two legs.

The winners of the two-legged semi-finals, on aggregate, will advance to a one-off final.

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