TOLL GATE, Clarendon — Sporting Central Academy (SCA) are on the hunt for a new long-term coach after replacing Nigel Stewart with Vassell Reynolds on an interim basis.
Stewart, who was only given the full-time job in the summer, was sacked following last Thursday's 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Highgate United.
The loss, their fifth in six games, saw the Clarendon side slip from sixth to ninth.
"Coach Stewart is a personal friend of mine, but based on what was happening at the club — results and how the team was being selected — we mutually agreed it was best that we tried something new," club president Ainsley Lowe told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.
"Vassell Reynolds has always been an advisor to me, so I asked him to step in right away as an interim coach. We are hoping that the new coach will be willing to work with him."
Veteran coaches Geoffrey Maxwell and Jerome Waite were among the names being floated around as possible replacements for Stewart, but Lowe denied the link, noting that "the coach does not live in Jamaica".
"We are currently fanalising negotiations with him," Lowe added.
Stewart, one of 11 Jamaican coaches who took part in an advanced coaching course in Brazil in the summer, spent his entire career at Sporting as an assistant to the likes of Christopher Dawes, Kevin Williams and Donavan Duckie.
The former Edwin Allen daCosta Cup player guided SCA to their first national trophies (the JFF/PLCA Under-21 League and mid-season titles) two seasons ago and is said to have had a good rapport with the players.
He led Sporting to the top of the Red Stripe Premier League standings early in the season after making an impressive start to the campaign, but a 2-1 defeat to Arnett Gardens on October 14 triggered a run of six games without a win.
"Coach Stewart will always be a part of the Sporting Central family but as far as pushing the team forward to achieve its maximum potential I believe we needed a change," Lowe said.
Meanwhile, Reynolds, who is a technical advisor at Sporting, said he is always willing to lend his expertise to the team in whatever position.
"I'm always willing to work with this team in whatever capacity," said Reynolds, who has had a number of coaching stints at Sporting.
"I was always around, working behind the scenes, but was asked a few days ago to play the role of an interim coach, so hopefully we can get the team back on track in short order."
Sporting are currently eighth in the Red Stripe Premier League on 20 points — three behind second-placed Portmore United and nine adrift of leaders Harbour View, who have a game in hand — following Sunday's 1-0 win over Boys' Town.