Montego Bay United's success a blueprint for football

Saturday, May 24, 2014

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We suspect there are still many among the traditional Seba faithful at Paradise Row and Canterbury in Montego Bay who resent the transition of their football club to being Montego Bay United (MBU).

Yet, even they must have applauded the fabulous second-half performance on Monday night which took MoBay to a 5-2 triumph over Waterhouse FC in the final of the Red Stripe Premier League at the National Stadium.

The 'Montegonians' deserve praise, not just for their success, but for providing Jamaica's football with a much-needed sense of style, verve and talent.

And let's not ignore the individual brilliance of the 24-year-old Mr Dino Williams who took the game by the scruff of the neck to ensure victory for his club.

Brimming with confidence, the lithe, skilful striker showed wonderful touch and enterprise as he scored three of the five goals for MBU and provided final passes for the other two.

No wonder then, that head coach Mr Winfried Schaefer immediately saw fit to include Mr Williams in the national squad for upcoming International Friendlies.

Western Jamaica — out in the wilderness of Jamaican football since the 1990s as far as premier league titles are concerned — will feel very grateful to MBU.

Equally, for the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Monday night's performance couldn't have come at a better time.

That's not just for the exhibition of delightful football. But moreso because MBU in a real sense exemplifies the blueprint for the JFF's proposed franchise system which is facing stiff opposition from vested football interests.

With his bold step to alter the image of the former Seba United to one embracing all of the western city of Montego Bay, club president Mr Orville Powell sought to concentrate human and material resources and support.

As we understand it, that is precisely what the JFF is hoping to achieve for elite football organisations across the country. As the situation now stands, football club structures are far too weak and under-resourced. In the current circumstances the standard of play in the national premier league will remain poor on average and inconsistent at best.

Since its image change, Montego Bay United, drawing on the resources of the western city, has succeeded in the development — still unfinished — of a base complete with home field, training facilities and residential dormitory just 10 minutes from the Montego Bay town centre.

This newspaper is tempted to believe that what was witnessed on Monday night reflected a football club's continuing growth and positive transformation. Football stakeholders should all take careful note.




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