We're going to give it our best shot, Bernard promises after Harbour View squeeze into JPL playoffsThursday, September 16, 2021
Harbour View FC began match week 11 of the Jamaica Premier League in eighth spot, but with the knowledge that a win in their final game of the regular season would catapult them into sixth place and into the playoffs.
Playing in the final game of the triple header on Friday, Harbour View knew that their destiny was in their own hands, having seen two other playoff hopefuls in Portmore United and Dunbeholden FC lose their games.
After a scoreless first half against Arnett Gardens, the pressure increased on the Star of the East who have their veteran Lovel Palmer to thank for finding the match winner with 20 minutes to go.
Head coach Ludlow Bernard is aware of the major problem affecting his team heading into the playoffs but backs them to get it right in due time.
“I think we need to be a little bit more clinical because I think this team is a team that creates quite a number of chances, but the finishing is questionable, the decision making in and around the box, but I think with more time and adventure in the league…they will get better.”
Harbour View boast a very young squad and Bernard believes that this shortened season will go a far way in aiding their development as premier league players.
“I'm glad that they would have participated in this league, because I think as individuals, they will get better and they will be good for the experience, going forward.”
Bernard believes that based on the quality of all six teams in the playoffs there is no advantage to playing any team in particular.
“There mere fact that all six teams are up there, they deserve to be there. They are all good teams, so irrespective of who is in what position, we are prepared to play anybody.”
He is clear in his mind about the challenge ahead for his young players who will have to man up if they are to progress beyond the quarterfinal round.
“We have cleared one hurdle, there are a couple more hurdles to clear. That's the attitude we have to take to this championship.
“We are now going to be tested going forward, what kind of resolve the team has. What kind of due diligence would have been done which is going to be done to enable them to come out and perform to their maximum.
“At this level, this is not a developmental competition, although Harbour View would have taken that approach in this season, but then again, one has to develop a habit of winning and from day one that is what we would have been placing in their heads and driving in their heads, that they have to play to win, they have to find grit, determination.
“We saw instances of cowardice, immaturity and we had to drive them from the sidelines, so that they could overcome this hurdle and there's lots more pressure to come.”
Bernard has never won the premier league as a head coach, but believes his team has as good a chance as any, ahead of the start of the quarterfinal round.
“I always consider myself a coach who likes to prepare a team that goes for championships, so nothing is different here. We are in position. All six teams are in with a chance and we are going to give it our best shot.”
Harbour View last won the league eight years ago in 2013.
- Dwayne Richards