Vassel Reynolds heads to Rusea’s to take over from Lawrence

Saturday, December 31, 2016

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LUCEA, Hanover — Vassel Reynolds, who led Wolmer’s Boys’ School to the FLOW Super Cup title and the ISSA/Flow Manning Cup final this season, is to replace Aaron Lawrence as the coach of Rusea’s High in the daCosta Cup competition next season, well-placed sources have told the Jamaica Observer.


It is understood that the "deal is all but signed, sealed and done" and Reynolds will make the move cross-country to try to restore the 10-time daCosta Cup champions to their past glory next season.


Rusea’s High, the second-most successful school in the rural area competition with 10 titles between 1984 and 2011, were left without a coach after Lawrence saw out his three-year contract earlier this year before advising the school that he would not be seeking an extension.


Repeated efforts to contact Reynolds and officials at Rusea’s proved futile.


Lawrence was at Rusea’s for three years and under his guidance, the school qualified for the lucrative FLOW Super Cup Knockout for the first time, beating Haile Selassie High in the first round before losing to Cornwall College on penalty kicks in the quarter-finals in one of the most highly anticipated games of the entire schoolboy football season.


After a slow start to the 2014 season when they were second in Zone B behind Frome Technical, then finished last in their inter-zone group, they made it as far as the quarter-finals the next two seasons and had a combined record of 19 wins, seven draws and eight losses.


Lawrence described his decision to leave the Rusea’s job as "a difficult one, but then not so difficult". "There was too much pressure at Rusea’s to win and we did not have the facilities we are used to, like boarding in the past," as he elaborated.


Lawrence, a former Reggae Boyz goalkeeper and captain, said also that there were a lot of influences, and while he got the full support of the school and the principal, there were more that he was expecting, especially from the past students, but that did not materialise.


"It was best to move on... I need to think about me and my family now," Lawrence said.


"We could have gone further, could have done better, so we failed as a team," he added.


Despite their loss to Cornwall College in the Flow Super Cup, Rusea’s appeared well set to make a run at the rural area double — the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis KO. After beating Paul Bogle High 2-1, they were beaten 3-1 at Dinthill in their next quarter-final game and then lost 1-0 to Lennon at Jarrett Park to end their season under a cloud.


— Paul Reid

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