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).
After a fine 2016 season, Jaheel Hyde wants to go one step further in the 400m hurdles. The 20-year-old plans to surpass his Olympic Games semi-final placing with a spot in the final at this year’s IAAF World Championships in London. To that end, he is working to move to the next level.”You know, last year I hit every mark that I set out for last year,” he reflected recently on a 2016 campaign that saw him defending his World under 20 400m hurdles crown, cutting his Jamaican junior record to 48.81 seconds and reaching the Olympic semi-finals. “I wanted to defend my World Junior title and to take everything in steps,” he said.Now, the University of the West Indies student is focused athletically on London. “Each year, I’m going to have to put on one step on it,” he asserted, “so that is what I’m aiming for this year.”Asked to pinpoint his 2017 target, Hyde said, “Of course I want to make the World Champs team, and I want to make the finals, and that’s the one step.”The former footballer is still adjusting to the rigours of training solely for athletics. “Trust me, it’s very hard, “he confessed. “When I was doing football, you know I started track and field in January,” he recounted, “so sometimes I would say to him just let me start training in January because to train from September straight back through to August is very hard.”He is, however, resolved to do the work greatness requires. “If I want to move to the next level, these are the sacrifices I have to make, so I’m not really bothered by it anymore.”MY OWN DESTINYIt’s no surprise that he misses the beautiful game. “Of course I miss football,” he revealed. “I even have thoughts of going back to football, between me and you,” he said.Despite that, this precocious Cameron Blazers team member won’t lace up his boots for quite some time. “I just want to enjoy my track and field career and see what happens,” he said . Moreover, he is quite sure that he was right to choose athletics over football. “I always wanted to do something where I control my own destiny,” the former Wolmers’ Boy striker reasoned.”For example, the Manning Cup final,” he recalled of a 3-2 loss to Jamaica College in 2013. “I played my heart out there, scored two brilliant goals and we lost.””When I go out there by myself now, and I mess up, I know that’s all on me,” he said. “When I lose, it’s on me,” Hyde said. “When I win, it’s on me.”
1 Everton and West Ham target Juan Iturbe is set to meet with representatives from Benfica over a possible move to the Primeira Liga giants, according to reports in Portugal.talkSPORT brought you news on Tuesday that the Premier League duo had an interest in the 22-year-old Argentine, who endured a difficult first season in Rome following his big-money move from Verona.But TVI24 in Portugal claim the player’s agent, Gustavo Mascardi, is in Lisbon negotiating his client’s potential move to Benfica.That would mean a return to Portugal for Iturbe, who spent three years at Porto from 2010, and would mean the Toffees and the Hammers must move quickly if they are to have any chance of clinching his signature. Roma star Juan Iturbe