MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Manchester FA boss Dalton Wint reckons the parish needs either a Premier League team or a major schoolboy trophy to underline its recent upturn in the game.
The central Jamaica parish came close to ending their 14-year hiatus from top-flight football in the summer when New Green FC contested the four-team premiership play-offs, while Manchester High have been to two schoolboy finals in the past four years.
Today, the Mandeville-based school was scheduled to continue its pursuit of that elusive title against Grange Hill High in the semi-final of the Ben Francis KO at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay. However, that game has been postponed due to the inclement weather.
Still, Wint hopes the parish can finally make a breakthrough this season.
"We have made huge strides in recent times, but because we don't have a Premier League team or a schoolboy title, the feeling — even internally — is that we are not quite there yet," Wint told the
"Manchester High went to two finals in recent years and now they are in the semi-finals of the Ben Francis KO, so hopefully, they can go all the way this season because winning the Ben Francis Cup would be a good start for the parish."
Manchester has been without a Premier League team following the relegation of Mile Gully in 1998. However, Wint is confident it will not be long before another of the parish's clubs struts its stuff on the national stage once again.
"We are definitely going to throw our full support behind the two teams that we have in the Super League," Wint said.
"Last season, New Green went to the play-offs and now we have Kendal, a fairly new team, who also hope to play in the Premier League."
Meanwhile, the 2012-13 Manchester FA season kicked off last Friday with the Howie Chin Prep School Championship which, in addition to the customary boys, includes a seven-a-side Girls' component.
The season will swing into full gear on October 30 with the President's Cup KO at Kendal.
Wint said: "We are really expecting an improved season. Last year we introduced a lot of programmes, including a Women's League, and this year, every Major League team must have a structured youth (programme). The only drawback so far is finance."