Halliman welcomes challenge to take Camperdown back to the top
VETERAN Coach Leebert Halliman is now the new head coach of former Manning Cup champions Camperdown High School.
Halliman, who has been coaching for over 40-years, has vowed to help the east Kingston-based institution return to its glory days, like when they won the Manning Cup competition in 1982.
“I was offered the job and I accepted it with two hands because it is a school that I wanted to coach from a long time ago,” Halliman told the Jamaica Observer.
“Camperdown have had some good teams over the years but — I don’t know if it is the leadership or the players — but indiscipline always plays a role in them losing,” he said.
Camperdown was one of most undisciplined in teams in the Manning Cup competition last season, an ugly record highlighted by seven red cards. In fact, the school picked up five of those cards in two consecutive matches as they finished third in their group, and as such failed to advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Halliman has taken over reins from former Coach Donovan Lofters, who spent one season as the head coach of the team.
Halliman enters Camperdown with an excellent resume, having won back-to-back Manning Cup championships with Excelsior in 2004 and 2005.
He also led St Andrew Technical High School to the Manning Cup title in 1986. Halliman pointed out that there is a lot of work to be done at the school but he is, nevertheless, very committed to his job — and once he receives the backing from the school community then people can expect a lot of positive things from the institution next season. “It is quite a long time that Camperdown haven’t won a title because the last time that they won the Manning Cup was in 1982, and the last we played in a final was in 1990, and so that shouldn’t be and I want to change that,” he said.
“Camperdown is one of the hallmarks of schoolboy football from the 1970s and the 1980s, and I am here and I will be doing everything that is possible to ensure that school returns to the top in schoolboy football,” Halliman said.
The respected youth coach explained that Valentine Bailey, who is now the principal of Camperdown, was a member of the school’s Manning Cup team in 1982, therefore, he will be working closely with him to ensure that the institution returns to the pinnacle of schoolboy football.
“But what is good about me going there is that the principal now is a past Manning Cup player for Camperdown and who played on a winning Camperdown Manning Cup team in 1982, so he will understand it a lot,” he said. “I am sure that the whole Camperdown family will give that support that will be required to help us to win the Manning Cup competition in short order,” Halliman ended.