MBU buoyed by St Fleur's arrival

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Saturday, March 03, 2012

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TUCKER, St James — An air of optimism surrounded the Montego Bay United's training session at their home base on Thursday afternoon as Bahamian national player and former Sporting Central Academy's striker Lesley St Fleur made his first appearance for the Red Stripe Premier League outfit since signing in the January transfer.

St Fleur was one of several new signings for the team that is lying seventh in the standings despite losing just once since the first round but only arrived in the island on Wednesday afternoon.

The Bahamian started along side another newcomer, Horace James, at the forward positions for MBU in a practice game against Western Confederation outfit Granville United less than 24 hours after arriving in the island and several times the midfielders attempted to force the ball to him.

Obviously, not everyone was as impressed, however, as St Fleur had to be substituted in the first half after he was kicked in the back of the knee by a defender, minutes after he was forearmed across the nose and knocked to the ground in an off-the-ball incident by the same defender.

St Fleur, who scored three times for Sporting Central earlier in the season before leaving abruptly for a trial stint in the US, says he has been at home in the Bahamas since then and has managed to keep fit.

Obviously not satisfied with his accomplishments at SCA, he told Sporting World in an exclusive interview on Thursday that he was looking forward to "putting in my efforts here and hopefully I can get better results than I did while at Sporting Central".

This would be good news for MBU coach Nedier Dos Santos who worked with the Haitian-born St Fleur in his stint as the Bahamian national coach, as he has repeatedly said they needed more 'finishers' at MBU.

Despite their one defeat in 18 games, MBU have won just four times in that period and have given up early goals and forced to chase the game to earn a draw.

Interestingly, MBU have scored the most goals in the league so far with 34 and have given up 26 — the sixth best defensive record — but were in 10th position after the first round.

St Fleur said he was also "looking forward" to his reunion with the Brazilian coach who had led the Bahamas to the only win over Jamaica when they won 1-0 in a CONCACAF Olympic semi-finals qualifying series in Haiti in October 2007 where St Fleur scored the only goal.

In addition to Dos Santos, St Fleur will have two other familiar faces at the Montego Bay club as he will team up with national defenders, wing-back Troy Smith, and central defender Keneil Moodie, both of whom played for Jamaica against the Bahamas in Port Au Prince.

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