Sports

Promise kept!

Now Vere United's Head Coach Michael Bennett expects continued efficiency after first RSPL win

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

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Vere United's Head Coach Michael Bennett promised that his team, formerly Jamalco FC, would return to the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) with little hype, but will instead let their efficiency on field do the talking.

So said, so done, as the Clarendon-based team was indeed efficient in their 2-0 triumph over champions Portmore United at Wembley Centre of Excellence on Sunday.

While pleased that they won their first three points of the 2019/20 campaign, Bennett was even more delighted that Vere United maintained their 22-game unbeaten record across all competitions at the expense of the back-to-back champions.

Strikes from Xhane Reid and substitute Zain Hylton in the 12th and 75th minutes made the points safe and left their large support base with much to smile about.

They were also condemning Portmore United to a second-consecutive defeat after the other promoted team, Molynes United, registered a 3-0 win over the champions on match day one.

“It was a game of contrasting moments; I think we dominated in one quarter when we scored the goal, but Portmore also dominated and we stood firm in our defence and that was good because our defence has always been our strongest point.

“I thought they (Portmore United) were a little nervous because they lost to Molynes and I told my players to capitalise on that and get some goals and see if we can hold it together to the end and they did that,” Bennett told the Jamaica Observer.

Well aware that Vere have been somewhat written off from the outside, Bennett and his team will be hoping for a little more than survival in the nation's top flight, especially given the history surrounding the club.

As Jamalco FC, they were immediately relegated from the league after earning promotion in the 2016/17 season, where they finished last.

However, a lot has changed since then and Bennett refused to dwell on the past, as he believes the odds could favour his team at the end of the nine-month league.

“The community was very anxious and happy to be back in the premier league after Jamalco, so now that we are rebranded and under new management and won our first game everyone is even more excited about the remainder of the season.

“We expect to go out there each week and do our best to ensure that we maintain a position in the top half of the table and stay up,” Bennett reasoned.

The perfect start to their 2019/20 campaign sees Vere United so far staying true to their vision, as they currently occupy fifth position on three points, behind Molynes United (six points), Humble Lion (four points) and UWI FC and Cavalier FC, on three points.

It is now left to be seen if Vere United have the ability to improve upon their current record, or if their limitations will again be exposed at the premier league level.

One thing is for certain, Bennett and his charges will be saying no to the latter and their grit, determination and all-guns-blazing approach will be fun to watch.

Bennett again made an exuberant promise to secure three wins this week, and with one already out the way, last year's beaten finalist Waterhouse are next in their sight, before they take aim Molynes United next Sunday.

The encounter against Waterhouse is scheduled for tomorrow after being pushed back due to the latter's participation in the regional club championships on match day one.

“Like I said, it is a pleasing start because our record coming into the game — we are unbeaten in 22 games and we expect to be unbeaten for a long while coming because we are aiming for the top six,” Bennett declared.

“So with this great start, we are going to Waterhouse on Thursday (tomorrow) to do the same, as we are aiming to win three games within the week. That is the plan,” he ended.

—Sherdon Cowan


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