COACH OF THE YEAR Montego Bay United Football Club captured the most awards at the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ)/Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) presentation ceremony on Thursday night at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston. Chairman of the PFAJ Don Anderson described the season as one of the most interesting. “It has been one of the most intriguing coming to an end. MBU has been most consistent in three years by competing in the last three finals and winning two times,” Anderson said. “I salute MBU. However, Portmore’s Michael Binns scored a goal in the final that was worthy of a World Cup final,” he shared. He admitted that there were challenges along the way. “Personally, throughout my 37 years in administration, my firm belief is that off the field issues must be dealt with around the table. Football needs us all, so let us work together,” he also added. The 2015-16 champions collected the coveted title and winning cash incentive of $2.5 million, plus 35 medals, while beaten finalists Portmore United walked away with $1.5 million and 25 silver medals. Last season’s champions, Arnett Gardens, finished third and were rewarded $1 million and medals, while Humble Lion received $500,000 for their fourth-place finish in the 12-team league. MBU were the best defensive and top-scoring team. Their striker, Owayne Gordon, received four individual awards. Gordon, who missed the final last Sunday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, received Round Three top striker for scoring 10 goals, the leading goalscorer with 20 goals, the Most Valuable Player and the Tony Burrowes Player Personality Award. MBU’s Jacomena Barrett won the goalkeeper of the year award for the third consecutive season, while former national player Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis won the Winning Coach award, and Dwayne Ambusley won the Winning Captain award. Marcel Gayle of first-time team in the Premier League the University of the West Indies FC, won the Coach of the Year award. Portmore United won the regular season award for the team that finished on most points and were also the team with the most wins. Junior Flemmings, who is on loan from Tivoli Gardens to MLS club New York Red Bull, was the Junior Player of the Year. MBU’s Dino Williams was the Round One top goal scorer with six goals, while Cory Burke, who started the season at Rivoli United before transferring to MoBay, scored the most goals (six) in Round Two. Boys’ Town FC won the FIFA Fair Play award, while the top referee was Valdin Ledgister and top assistant referee was Richard Washington. The RSPL best XI players were: Damian Hyatt (Arnett Gardens), Ladale Ritchie (MBU), Oneil Thompson (Arnett), Khareem Manning (Portmore United), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Ricardo Morris (Portmore), Andrew Vanzie (Humble Lion), Renae Lloyd (Arnett), Owayne Gordon (MBU), and Dino Williams (MBU).
No casualties have been reported from the United Nations (UN) helicopter marked RA 22426, bound for the Southeast that crash-landed after a few minutes of technical difficulties while en-route; however, one of the crewmembers – a pilot – is said to be in ‘critical’ condition.The incident occurred in the Thinker’s Village Community in the vicinity of the Robert L. Johnson (RLJ) Hotel, along the Roberts International Airport highway.Though the helicopter did not explode, it sustained significant damage. Sandy and grassy terrain absorbed the craft’s impact with the ground. That allowed it to sink down deep into the soft surface – and to safety.The chopper, which took-off at about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, from the James Springs Payne Airfield in Monrovia, was heading for Fishtown, River Gee County; but it developed technical problems right at the point of take off, passengers explained.It was said that the injured pilot came in contact with metal roofing, (zinc) when the craft landed. A building under construction was partly damaged upon initial ground contact.According to officials, the chopper was scheduled to make its first stop near Fish Town and later, Barclayville, Grand Kru County.According to sources, there were nine people on board: three crewmen and six passengers; some of them were loaded into a Jeep and other vehicles, and taken to the JFK Memorial Hospital.The occupants included UNMIL personnel and officials from government ministries headed for various rural assignments.According to passengers, the pilot was forced to land the helicopter after assessing the seriousness of a mechanical problem that they had no answer for.“The problem became serious while we were already over the ocean; the pilot had to make a U-turn to find a solid and safe ground for crash landing,” passengers told the Daily Observer.A survivor, Grace Nyemah, from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that while the helicopter was taking off, they noticed that the engine went off on three separate occasions. It was after the fourth attempt that it finally took off.She said that the most intense moment came when it was notice that the engine of the helicopter had gone off, compelling the pilot to use his training and experience to maneuver for a forced – but safe – landing.Ms. Nyemah said that while in the air, some unfamiliar activities claimed their attention; it was after several minutes that the fourth pilot officially informed them of the situation.First, he calmed them down by saying that the technical team was finding a means of bringing the situation under control.Grand Kru’s Chief Medical Officer, Mitchell Greene, who was also on board, had minor injuries on various parts of his body. He said that it was by the grace of God that they were saved; the situation was severe and very frightening, he explained.He praised the pilot for bringing the aircraft down safely. “We are grateful to God that nothing very serious happened to the majority of us.”Meanwhile community residents and eyewitnesses at the scene lauded the pilot for his bravery and quick-thinking; he saved the crewmen and passengers by returning the craft to dry land, as it certainly would have fallen into the ocean.Meanwhile, UN said in a release following the crash that made an emergency landing a few minutes before noon at Thinker’s Village in Monrovia.“The helicopter, with nine passengers and four crew members on board, was en route from Spriggs Payne Airfield to Fishtown as part of UN’s regular shuttle flight. One passenger and one crewmember sustained minor injuries. During the landing, the aircraft damaged a house, without causing injury to any of its residents or any other members of the local population. The Liberia National Police and UN Security have secured the area.The UN has launched an investigation to establish the cause of the incident.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)