NEWS

Former Reggae Boy Claude Davis reaps success as coach at Florida school

Friday, June 26, 2020

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Former Reggae Boyz defender Claude Davis was voted Coach of the Year for all boys' sports at William Boone High school by the Orlando Sentinel Varsity during virtual 22nd annual awards ceremony on June 17.

Davis, just in his second year of coaching at the school, won the soccer District and Regional title for the first time in 20 years and led William Boone High (The Braves) to the State final for the first time in 40 years.

Davis saw off two other American football coaches for the accolade.

“So it was a great accomplishment. I have been coaching in the US for five years now and it has been a success to be honest. I started coaching the team a week before the season started, so I didn't have enough time to prepare the boys,” Davis told the Jamaica Observer.

Davis turned The Braves around from a team that won just seven of 14 matches the previous year to winning 16 of 22 games, losing only twice and ended their long drought without a trophy.

“But I remain humble with achievement. It's a start as I am still finishing up my coaching courses. I finished my A License last year, so I am grateful,” he noted.

The tall defender, who represented Jamaica 68 times and scoring two goals, captained the team on several occasions. He also plied his trade in England with Preston North End, Sheffield United, Derby County, Crystal Palace, Crawley Town and Rothertham United.

“I have a lot to share that's why I am preparing myself the best that I know with my coaching courses, get as much experience as I can get, because it's not an easy transition from player to coach. There is a lot of thing you have to approach differently,” he pointed out.

The former Portmore United stalwart still harbours thoughts of returning to the island to give back what he has learnt during his tenure as a professional player.

“I still have aspirations to return to Jamaica and work with the national programme as an ex national player...and that's a dream of mine to one day return home so I can help,” said Davis.

“I know what it took to get to the pros, get to England, so there is a plan for me to return sometime and my preference will be at the youth level where I can teach the kids the right stuff and prepare them for the next chapter in their lives,” he added.