Bygrave getting the job done for Mount Pleasant
At this point during the Jamaica Premier League play-off campaign last year, Atapharoy Bygrave would guide Dunbeholden to last year's final on the back of a Golden Boot winning campaign.
Now with Mount Pleasant, he has ended up being the instrument of his former club's exit from the playoffs, with his 89th-minute goal capping off 3-0 win over Dunbeholden in their second leg quarterfinal on Monday night. A brace from Leonardo Rankin in the 48th and 60th minutes would lead the charge to win the series 4-1 on aggregate.
The irony of the moment was not lost on Bygrave who consoled his former teammates and the coaching staff after the game. While it was an awkward situation to be in, Bygrave said that the team had to be better attacking wise to progress.
"It is a team performance for us. We just went out there and followed the coaches' instructions. Even though it was against my former club, we just had to keep going and go out there and fight," Bygrave told STAR Sports.
Bygrave's exploits last season led him to a move to the Vietnamese League with Ho Chi Minh City making 16 appearances and scoring four goals before returning to Jamaica this year to join a Mount Pleasant attack that already had Trivante Stewart, one of the league's top goalscorers this season.
Bygrave was able to take the time to adapt to the new team and style of play with the staff providing a calming presence.
"It is all about teamwork. They just told me not to panic, just to relax, train and compete," Bygrave said.
He has become a valuable option for head coach Theodore Whitmore as Mount Pleasant seek to finally deliver on the promise that they set out, claiming their first JPL title. But Bygrave knows that for Mount Pleasant to enjoy the run he had last year, they cannot afford to be complacent when they face Arnett Gardens in the semi-finals.
"We just have to keep the focus and go out there and do the job," Bygrave said.