MAY PEN, Clarendon — Humble Lion coach Lenworth Hyde Snr has challenged his players to show their maturity as a team by at least matching last season's fourth place finish.
The Clarendon side emerged as a surprise challenger for last season's Red Stripe Premier League crown with some eye-catching performances, but eventually finished some 10 points adrift of champions Portmore United.
Hyde reckons a more consistent display this coming campaign will be a sign of growth.
"If we can step up two or three notches and win the league that would be excellent, so we are asking them to improve and we (the coaches) will also have to get better because improving our position won't be easy," Hyde said.
Last season, Humble Lion were the division's best road team, but surprisingly had one of the worst home records, winning only four of their 19 home games.
Hyde, who has won league titles with Portmore, Harbour View and Tivoli Gardens, said improving their performances at the Effortville Community Centre is among their priorities this term.
"That is our main concern right now because it was our downfall last season. We weren't winning enough games at home, so this season we have to change that and start to be more confident when we play here," Hyde told the Jamaica Observer during a training session at Effortville on Tuesday morning.
Unlike previous seasons, Humble Lion, who are scheduled to open their campaign at home to parish rivals Sporting Central, have been pretty quiet in the transfer market. They have only brought in midfielder Shauntel Mundle from Portmore, winger Richard Reid, formerly of Sporting and Portmore, and former Waterhouse goalkeeper Joel Williams.
"We wanted a striker, but haven't acquired one yet, so we are still looking in that direction. However, these players will bring something to the team. They did well in pre-season," Hyde said.
Among the players who were noticeably absent from Humble Lion's training session on Tuesday morning were last season's top-scorer Wolry Wolfe, said to be abroad, and Tyrone Sawyers.
But in Wolfe's absence, Hyde is seemingly leaning towards Carlington Smith as his new playmaker, adding that he is upbeat about the team's synergy ahead of the new campaign.
"(At the moment) we are trying Carlington Smith in the midfield with Sean Coleman and (Ricardo) Campbell and it looks good," Hyde beamed.
"I am really enthused and optimistic with how they are playing now. It looks like the training that we did last year is really starting to (show) this season.
"The league hasn't started yet so we are not sure how they will handle the competition, but from what I am seeing now, they understand what our aim is and they are showing the know how. It's looking good so far."