AFTER failing to make the play-offs of the Jamaica Premier League by a point last season, Fabion McCarthy said he and his teammates made a vow not to allow it to happen again.
“Last season we missed out by a point. We got together and were watching the Arnett/Harbour View game and we said ‘We can’t blame anybody but ourselves.’ We said ‘Next season is a different thing’, and we set goals and we crushed them,” he stated.
They certainly made up for missing the play-offs by finishing second in the regular season, which ensured they went straight to the semi-finals — avoiding the tricky quarter-final round.
After a rocking semi-final tie with reigning champions Cavalier that ended 4-4 on aggregate, they squeezed into the final 4-2 on penalties.
Yet their finish to the regular season was anything but exceptional, and McCarthy admitted that the absence of Technical Director Harold Thomas, who was away on a family emergency for a few weeks, did have an impact on the performance of the team.
“It had an impact, to some extent, on the mentality of some players. This man is a stern man and there is always room for improvement where he is concerned, so when he was away it was like some players took it easy. When he came back, it was a big difference.”
He also revealed that the raucous Dunbeholden fans are desperate to see the team win the league.
“They needed it even more than the players. They are at training day in, day out. They are around the field urging us on to do better, always pushing the team forward. They are so passionate. We have to do it for them,” he said.
McCarthy knows what it is like to win the league, having done so previously with Montego Bay United, and will be hoping to steer Dunbeholden to their first premiership title from midfield today.
— Dwayne Richards