MONTEGO BAY, St James — Shortly after his landslide victory over veteran sports personnel Steve Bucknor in the race for the president of the St James Football Association, new president Gregory Daley declared there was little time to celebrate.
"We don't have time and we need to hit the ground running," Daley told delegates at the Montego Bay Cricket Club on Tuesday night, after beating Bucknor 67-25 in the two- man race to replace Texchus Nembhard, who did not seek re-election after serving one two-year term.
In one of the shortest and smoothest voting process seen in the St James Football Association for years, David Watt, who was the acting president, after Nembhard took a "sabbatical" in August, was returned as the first vice-president, beating long serving member Brian Miller 58-9. This was the second straight time Watt was beating Miller for the post, as he outvoted him 26-16 in 2010.
Newcomer Everton Esmie is the new second vice-president replacing Miller who he beat 44-12.
Bruce Gaynor and Macklin Peterkin were returned unopposed as general secretary and treasurer respectively, while Tracey Reid is the assistant secretary-- also re-elected unopposed.
Joy Nelson and Tyrone Gordon were returned as Council Members with George Evans, Gregory Palmer, and Fay Hall, also joining them.
It was a resounding loss for Bucknor who was edged out by Nembhard by one vote 42-41 two years ago.
He however accepted the defeat gracefully, telling the Observer West it could be his last bid for the presidency.
"The people have spoken and they are saying they don't want me so there is no reason to stay on," Bucknor said, while admitting he was "surprised by the margin" of defeat.
Bucknor said prior to the election, he had spoken to the majority of the delegates and was assured by them that they had bought into his vision for the FA.
Meanwhile, Daley who has been the League Director for the past season, said he was not surprised by his margin of victory.
"This was expected but I am still overwhelmed," he said, minutes after the election.
"The delegates were true. They told me they would vote for me and they came out and did," he stressed. Added Daley: "There is little time to sit back however, and the board will meet Friday to work out plans to start the season which is late already, and we hope to get going before the start of the New Year."
Registration for the competitions, he said, had already commenced and with sponsorship in place for the Senior League from hotel chain Sandals, "we are looking forward to a successful season."