Western News

Clean House

Rusea's vice -principal wants school's entire football coaching staff sacked

BY PAUL A REID Observer West Writer

Thursday, February 06, 2014    

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LUCEA, Hanover - Linford Nelson, the vice-principal at Rusea's High School has called for the school's board and administration not to stop at the firing of long-time assistant coach Anthony 'Follies' Williams, but instead, to rid the institution of all vestiges of the past associated with the school's football team, and to make a clean start.

"It is time we got rid of all the relics of the past," he told the Jamaica Observer West last Friday, a day after Williams was told his services were no longer required after 23 years, as part of the institution's football programme.

This, Nelson, who said that he has been at the school for 40 years, argued, should include the removal of head coach Emerson 'Diggy' Henry, the man who has been the most successful football coach at the nearly 300 year- old school.

Claiming to have been part of the group who 'captured' the plot of land that the team plays its home games on, which has been re-christened in honour of the late Colin Miller, former principal in the 1980s, Nelson said for too long the football programme at Rusea's "has been external,"- controlled by persons outside of the school's administration.

He said that the new principal Lindel Wright should be given a clean slate with which to work, and should have the right to help decide who should take over the school's football programme.

Last week news broke that former goal keeper Aaron Lawrence who played for Rusea's between 1985 and 1989, and was part of the team that won five titles and shared one


three daCosta Cup titles, one Ben Francis KO, while sharing the Olivier Shield with Kingston College in 1985 and winning it outright in 1989-- had been appointed as the new head coach, while Henry would be the Technical Director.

There was no room for Williams in the new set up, however.

Williams told Observer West on Friday that he was told of the decision via a telephone call from the new principal Thursday afternoon, just hours before he heard Lawrence being interviewed on a radio sports program confirming his appointment.

Williams who captained Rusea's in 1980, his final season of daCosta Cup as a player, was part of 10 title winning teams- five in the daCosta Cup- 1992, 1993, 2002, 2010 and 2011; two Ben Francis KO winning teams and three Olivier Shield successes.

For most of the time, he said, he was the assistant to Henry, but was on his own in 2002 when he led the team in the absence of Henry, who was recovering from gunshot wounds.

In post-match interviews after the game at Jarrett Park after the victory, an emotional Williams with tears running down his face had dedicated the title to Henry, who was his mentor.

Williams told the Observer West last week he was "not angry but disappointed," but will "move on."

Meanwhile, Lawrence who also played for the national football teams and was part of the historic Reggae Boyz team that qualified for France 1998 and kept in the win over Japan, was excited with the appointment.

"I am excited to be asked to take over that job and add some new energy to the school that gave me a start and I am looking forward to the challenges that come with the job," he told the Observer West.

Lawrence who had been the head coach at Mannings School since 2009, explained that he was approached by the school last year, adding that he had the blessings of Henry, who had coached him while at Rusea's.

"This move has been in the pipeline for a while," Lawrence said, "I just made up my mind last week," adding, "the Hanover people have been asking for me to make the move as well."

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