Regional

FC Reno must rebuild — Downswell

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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FROME, Westmoreland - FC Reno's technical director Wendell Downswell says if the club is to return to the country's top football league and be successful, it must rebuild from the ground up.

“It will be a big job to rebuild the team that has made its mark on the local football landscape, but has made a habit of going back and forth between the Western Confederation and the Red Stripe Premier League,” Downswell said of the former Premier League champions, adding that “it is not out of their scope to make it work.”

FC Reno and Montego Bay United were both relegated from the Red Stripe Premier League this season.

Downswell, who is a director of the Jamaica Football Federation and former national coach, told the Jamaica Observer West that it would take a holistic approach for the Westmoreland-based club to return to the top.

FC Reno finished the season in 12th place with 24 points from their 33 games played and ended the season on a low. Their last home game against Humble Lion was not played due to the absence of medical personnel.

FC Reno have been relegated three times in the last 10 seasons.

“We have a history of going back up to the Premier League and so we can do it again. We just have to sit and look at a major five-year plan, we have started the planning already and we are in the process of putting things in place moving forward,” he told the Observer West.

“It won't be easy, but we know what it is like and how to get back to the RSPL, so therefore it is just for us to put the necessary plans in place.”

The process, he pointed out, involves the revamping of the club's management structure and recruiting younger players, as well as putting in an academy to ensure there is a constant supply of new young players to replace those who leave.

“A grand announcement will be made shortly about the club itself and the direction that the club is taking,” he promised.

“We are quite optimistic, it is just unfortunate that the club has been relegated at this time, but it may serve as a blessing in disguise as it is just for us to regroup, refocus and rechannel our energies and come forward with a certain level of vibrancy and dynamism.”

The building blocks for the rebuilding, he said, had to be, “a very vibrant youth structure in the club and also expand our community outreach and we have to restructure the club and make it more marketable”.

FC Reno have had the lowest pay structure in the RSPL.

Downswell said that matter is “something they have to look at in the future, if they hoped to attract better players”.

“In terms of sponsorships, we are way down the ladder, and this was a major setback as we have not been able to garner the level of sponsorship to make us competitive throughout the season,” he argued.


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