Last weekend proved to be quite memorable in the life of one of Jamaica's most successful coaches, Ludlow Bernard.
The head coach of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) champions Harbour View FC received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the RJR/Gleaner National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel last week Friday to cap off what was his most successful year as a coach, 2022.
Bernard did what no other coach has done in football on the island when he first guided his alma mater Kingston College to both Manning Cup and Olivier Shield glory in January and then took his club Harbour View to Premier League glory in June to be the first coach to win those three titles in the same calendar year.
But even while thankful for being recognised for his contribution to football in the country, Bernard insisted that there are other coaches who may be just as deserving or even more deserving of that same type of recognition.
"I think the powers that be, they really need to honour others. There are others, other than myself, who are just as, or even more deserving than me, for these kinds of accolades, but we don't want to wait until people are six foot six, we should do it now. So I am imploring the various federations, maybe the JFF [Jamaica Football Federation], [Jamaica] Olympic Association, KSAFA [Kingston and St Andrew Football Association], or the various parish groups, you really need to be honouring persons," was Bernard's plea.
"There have been many persons in the past that have contributed without any acknowledgement whatsoever," he continued.
"But for me personally I am glad, but I want to see it now happening for others," Bernard insisted.
He has come through the ranks from youth coach to head coach at Harbour View, his only club, and Bernard related a meeting he had recently with another great Jamaican youth coach, Leebert Halliman.
"Coach Halliman visited me one day and we had a nice little talk, and he said, coach, you know that you are blessed, and I had to agree with him, because it must have something to do with the efforts that I have put in, not saying that others haven't, but the genuineness of it all to make differences in the lives of various young people.
"So, for me, it is indeed a very great achievement and I look forward to achieving even more," he said.
Bernard has been instrumental in the life and careers of a number of Jamaican legends, such as Ricardo "Bibi" Gardner and the late Luton Shelton, who still remains Jamaica's leading male goalscorer.
Bernard's weekend was made perfect by his players who delivered his first win for the new year with a 1-0 win over Montego Bay United at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College on Sunday.
"It's my first win for the year, so I am really thankful for it, but more importantly, I am thankful for the effort the players put in.
"The conditions made it a game of two halves, because of the breeze factor, but I thought we were able to weather whatsoever it is that Montego Bay United posed to us," he said after the win which pushed his team up to fourth spot in the table on 19 points, one behind third place Humble Lion.
Harbour View will next play fifth-placed Arnett Gardens in the Monday night feature game at the same venue starting at 7:30 pm.
— Dwayne Richards
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