Tue | Mar 20, 2018

We shall return - Boys' Town plan swift top-flight turnaround

Published:Tuesday | February 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
President of Boys' Town Football Club Leon Mitchell makes a point, while going through the pages of The Gleaner's Sports section during an interview yesterday at the Gleaner Company (Media) Limited's North Street offices.
Xavian Virgo (right) from Boys' Town and Roberto Johnson (left) from Portmore United challenge for the ball during a Red Stripe Premier League football match at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday. Boys' Town were relegated after a 0-2 defeat.

President of relegated Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) club Boys' Town, Leon Mitchell, is already putting plans in place for them to be back in top flight in one season.

Boys' Town were demoted to next season's Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Super League after 14 seasons in the nation's top-tier league, with five games remaining in the RSPL's preliminary stage.

"We will have to do a couple of things. Clearly, we will have to play back at home next season, play back at Collie Smith Drive in the Super League," Mitchell told The Gleaner after the team used the Barbican Complex as its home ground for the last three seasons.

"What we have done is to secure a pump so we can water the field. I am just discussing with the main board at Boys' Town to see how best we can treat that. Everybody will benefit if the field is well-watered," he said.

"Next phase after that will be lights. The reason I am focusing on lights is because we need time to train. We will have to be able to train properly when it reaches certain parts of the year because it gets dark relatively earlier. The players have to train for a decent time to remain fit no matter what league you are playing in," Mitchell added.

"What we are also trying to do is to put a gate at the Collie Smith Drive end and then enter from Spanish Town Road, where you would be able to park and collect."

"In our world, when you get relegated, pre-season would start a bit earlier. Team selection would be earlier with the formation that you would want to play and proper administration. The drive is to try and come back in one lift, so we have to be prepared. We don't want to languish down there (Super League)," Mitchell continued.

With regard to the fate of coach Andrew Price, who has been in charge for 20 years, Mitchell said a decision would be made by the board after the season ends.

"It is too early to say whether Price would be in the plans next season. It would be wrong. We can't make an emotional decision. That would be at the end of the Premier League season," Mitchell pointed out.

"Just like [with] any organisation, you would have to review everything. In our case, we would have to review for the best way forward. It is a sensible thing to do, making an assessment. I am wary that some supporters want Coach Price out, but at the end of the day, the coach does not play. It is the responsibility of the players to train hard enough and follow instructions hard enough," said Mitchell.

"Boys' Town is too big a club to be languishing in the lower league. This is the time that the club must step up. We must call for support. You can't talk about negative things in the dark alleys. You must step out now.

"I am very disappointed that the club is relegated in my first five months as president of such a big club like Boys' Town. It is a terrible start. In life, things happen. My spirit is disappointed today, but not tomorrow," Mitchell added.

"We have to build from the Under-13 level. We have to start there in order to develop. Our future has to be the youth. We will make the right decision for the benefit of the club, and we will wheel and come again. I assure you of that," he concluded.


Boys' Town Fact File


Founded: 1940

Premier League titles: 1984, 1986, 1988

Champions Cup titles: 2009, 2010

Notable players: Carl Brown, Desmond Smith, Lindy Delapenha, Herbert 'Dago' Gordon, Donovan Panton, Lenworth Hyde, Devon 'Roots' Lewis, Ali Rose, Les Brown, Ali McNab, Allan 'Skill' Cole, Derrick 'Sashtri' Denniser, Thomas McLean, Chris Zaidie, Archie Reid, Lloyd 'Respic' Morgan, Lindel Wright, Andrew Price, Oniel 'Bigga' Thompson.