This is an excerpt from an article by Trelawny-born Adrian Frater that appeared in the Gleaner, lamenting the current state of football in western Jamaica. For the first time in the over 4 decades history of the National Premier League, there will be no team from Western Jamaica in the competition.
From the Jamaica Gleaner.
So, the 2019-2020 Red Stripe Premier League season got going on Sunday, September 1, and sadly, for the first time in the annals of the over four-decade-old competition, no team from western Jamaica was among the teams taking aim at the coveted title, the symbol of club football supremacy in Jamaica.
The west, which was the undisputed capital of the nation’s club football between the years 1986 and 1996, hit rock bottom last season when Montego Bay United Football Club and FC Reno were relegated from the top flight, and Wadadah FC and Falklands FC failed to qualify from the 2018-2019 qualifying tournament.
Personally, as one who was involved in football administration in the fabulous era when the west won 11 Premier League titles between 1986-87 and 1996-97, I must admit that I am not at all surprised by the demise of western Jamaica’s football.
In fact, I saw it coming, but when I tried to highlight the flaws that were undermining the game in my writings, I was accused of being stuck in the past.
While no Trelawny or Hanover teams won the coveted Premier League title in the era of western dominance, there was no question that both had very good developmental programmes, reflected in the success that Rusea’s High (Hanover) and William Knibb High (Trelawny) had in being formidable forces in schoolboy football.
Unfortunately, when high-quality leaders like Anthony Marks and Loraine Scringer (Hanover), Wesmore Thomas and Sonny Vassell (St James), Frank ‘Bim’ Williams (Westmoreland), and Don Nelson and Glenworth Brown (Trelawny) stepped aside to make way for new leaders, those who replaced them proved to be woefully inadequate, if not incompetent.