With a vision of building Jamaica's best high school football programme, Hydel hires veteran coach Devon Anderson

By July 11, 2022
Coach Devon Anderson was hired by Hydel Group of Schools as their football head coach. At right is board member Trevin Nairne. Coach Devon Anderson was hired by Hydel Group of Schools as their football head coach. At right is board member Trevin Nairne.

Driven by an over-arching ambition to build the best high school football programme in Jamaica, Hydel High School has begun the process by hiring Devon Anderson. 

Anderson, who coached Holy Trinity High to the 2014 Flow Cup Finals and the 2014 and 2016 Manning Cup semi-finals, confirmed his position as the new head coach of Hydel High School on Monday.

 “I am elated to be part of this Hydel Group. I am optimistic and raring to go as far as the coming season is confirmed,” he told Sportsmax. TV.

“The management team is putting together the players. They call me the builder and once they give me the raw material I will start building the programme.”

 Among the players who have developed under Anderson’s guidance are Phillon Lawrence and Nicholas Hamilton, who play for newly crowned Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC, Tevin Rochester, who suits up for the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Waterhouse FC forward Andre Leslie and Portmore United’s Shai Smith.

 In further confirming Anderson’s appointment Hydel High board member Trevin Nairne revealed that the school has big plans for the future and it all starts with the man, who coached at Trinity High for more than two decades.

 “The management board of the Hydel Group of Schools is determined to continue our development of the island's premier student-athletes via the establishment of one of Jamaica's leading football programmes,” Nairne said. 

 “It is our intention to build a comprehensive system from the U14 through the U17 culminating at the U19 - Manning Cup level. We intend to build a programme that serves our students by helping them matriculate into tertiary institutions locally and overseas and where possible into the professional ranks.”

Nairne, who was once the General Manager at Jamaica Premier League outfit Portmore United, explained why Anderson is the best man for the job.

“The committee considers Devon Anderson as one of the brightest football minds around and one who has a true passion for developing and moulding youngsters into the better versions of themselves,” he said.

 “His work ethic is second to none and the work he did with Holy Trinity often goes unheralded. We believe with the correct structure and support Devon will have the opportunity to develop a strong football culture that wins.”

There haven’t been many wins for Hydel in Jamaican schoolboy football but over the past decade, they have shown glimpses of what is possible under a structured programme.

 Hydel lost to the many-time champions St George’s College in 2012. Six years later, they won the 2018 Walker Cup title, the pinnacle of the school’s football achievements.

 However, as the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day', so Nairne expects the building process guided by a fundamental philosophy that is paramount to any goal is the holistic development of the players.

 “We have a philosophy of the Head, Heart and Hands. To provide an integrated education of the head, heart and hands as the means by which to graduate responsible student-athletes with the knowledge, experience, character and passion to improve the communities in which they live, work and serve,” he explained.

 “We respect what other institutions have done but we are not aiming to replicate what others have done. We have a unique philosophy which will take some time to harness but you will see glimpses of it taking shape from day one.

 “We don't know how some institutions judge success but we aim to develop a system that wins while creating strong student-athletes who go to college or go pro.

Those who pass through the Hydel programme will be productive members of our society.”

The Hydel vision also means that while not ruling out recruiting players, the school will use the available talent from their existing student population, preparing them to transition through high school and into the collegiate system in Jamaica and overseas.

“I wouldn't necessarily point to any one feeder institution per se. Hydel Prep is the easiest to consider the feeder for obvious reasons,” Nairne reasoned. 

 “Hydel already has numerous connections to tertiary institutions in North America and we will look to strengthen these connections as well as add a few others over time.”

 As for the coming season, Nairne believes that under the guidance of Anderson, Hydel will be competitive with the aim of improving each year going forward.

 “We hope to have a disciplined and competitive team this first season with realistic ambitions. Remember that greatness can't be rushed. We will be patient with the system and the persons within,” he said.

 “Our plan is to further develop the culture of this excellent institution.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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