Coach quits as reality of Portmore's relegation sinks in
PERENNIAL title contenders Portmore United were relegated from the Red Stripe Premier League for the first time and head coach Calvin Lewis has called it a day on his 12-year coaching stint.
Portmore United, who started the day in 11th spot on 33 points, needed to have won to have the slightest of chance of avoiding relegation, but crashed 1-3 to Humble Lion after taking a 20-minute lead courtesy of Stephen Williams.
But home team Humble Lion responded with three second-half goals by Wolry Wolfe (63rd minute), Jermaine Christian (77th) and Odane Brown (82nd) that crushed Portmore United and sent them into parish football hell for next season.
"It's a disappointed one, but it's part of life. This minute you up, next minute you down. But the important thing is that the club stays together and the directors met early and started to look at a rebuilding process," said Lewis, who led the club to championship honours in 2012.
Lewis, who is also a police officer, told the Jamaica Observer he would be calling it quits to concentrate on his career with a view of moving up the ranks from sergeant to inspector, a rank he held for nine years.
"I will be giving the football a break right now to really focus on my personal development in terms of my career," he noted.
"I started in 2002 and I am maybe the only coach to probably win every competition in Jamaica at every level. D1, D2, Major League, Super League, Premier League, and I won them in different parishes too," he pointed out.
It was ironic that Portmore United would be sent packing from topflight football by a team from a parish it broke off in 2003 when they strategically left Clarendon as Hazard United for Portmore United in St Catherine.
Eleven years on, Humble Lion have played a key role in kicking Portmore United out of the league and back to parish football for next season.
Portmore finished on 33 points in 11th spot and five points adrift of Boys' Town in that crucial relegation fight. They join August Town as the second relegated team from the 12-club league. Lewis clearly knew what went wrong and believes the lack of a potent striker was the club's downfall. In 33 games they won only eight times and more importantly, in their last eight games, they picked up only one point.
"It is obvious to everyone that we have a lot of talent and we play quality football, but we were just not scoring and when the frustration steps in, we gave up some soft goals. It all boils down to that," said Lewis.
Portmore United have scored just 25 times from 33 matches with Adoah Nickles' four goals being the most for the club.
— Howard Walker