Despite concerns over his Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC having a target on their backs this season, head coach Ludlow Bernard believes his team is prepared enough to get off to a good start to the 2022/2023 season which gets underway in just over a week’s time.

Harbour View opens its title defense against newcomers Chapleton Maroons at the Tony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens and Bernard knows that to go from being underdogs to defending champions can bring unwanted pressure and is a cause for concern.

“It has to be a concern because some of the players will be in a territory that they are not accustomed to,” he told Sportsmax.TV at the launch of the 2022/2023 Jamaica Premier League season at Chillin Restaurant and Bar on Holborn Road in Kingston on Thursday night.

“What is even going to make it even more challenging is that we will be going to the oppositions’ venues.”

However, Bernard, who in 2021 became the first coach to win titles with a high school team (Kingston College) and the Premier League title, believes the expected pressure could make the team better.

“Development-wise I think it’s good for them. It’s good that they get that kind of experience but I think we would have prepared them well over the last season to deal with the rigours of relegation, going to the opposition home venue and the thrust and grind of the league itself so we are looking forward to it and we will be prepared.”

Harbour View lost a couple of players in the form of influential mid-fielder Shamar Dyer who is now playing in Antigua and Phillan Lawrence, who has not reported back to the club for reasons unknown.

 However, they have bolstered the roster with Trayvon Reid, goalkeeper David Martin, Romario Palma and Demar Rose, who Bernard believes will be a good addition to the club.

“Demar Rose is somebody that I have worked with before and a player that I admire and think would fit into our system so we expect that the fire-power will be there and we are looking forward to a good start,” Bernard said of the midfielder who came up through the Harbour View FC youth system having played with the Stars of the East from the U13 through to the U20 programmes.

A good start, Bernard continued, is going to be instrumental to the club enhancing their chances of a winning sixth Premier League title this coming season.

“The aim is to get out of the blocks as quickly as possible because there will be a break in November and we don’t want to get caught behind,” he said.

“Preparations have been a little bit behind. I think, probably, we need a couple more games but the experience that we have I think we should be able to manage ourselves in the early rounds at the start.”

 

 

 

 Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC are to travel to New York City where they will face off with a Caribbean All-Star team in the VM Group Cup on September 3 at Old Boys High School in Brooklyn.

The Caribbean All-Star Select team will likely be comprised of players from the Caribbean Premier League Soccer Tournament including Ojai Bedward, (Jamaica), Clive Murray (Grenada), Kele Sylvester (Jamaica), Kendon ‘Pimaz’ Anderson (Jamaica) and Trayon Bobb (Guyana).

Head Coach of Harbour View FC, Ludlow Bernard, said the match is very important to the Stars of the East.

“This opportunity provides development, visibility and exposure to many of our young players. As the new five-star generals in Jamaica, we are enthusiastic about facing this international XI,” he said. 

“Football fans in general, and Harbour View fans in particular, can come out to see a young Trayvone Reid, our new, sensational goalkeeper Anthony Bennett as well as Jahshaun Anglin, Phillon Lawrence and Nicholas Hamilton. These are all upcoming stars for Harbour View. We look forward to your support.”

Meanwhile, PFJL Chairman Chris Williams is urging fans to support the event.

“The PFJL is happy that we can connect with fans globally. This is the first step towards taking the game on the road as we continue to grow our fan base,” he said.

“Our goal is for Jamaica to be known as a football country in the same way we are known as a track country. We won’t stop until we achieve that goal, so come out and support the event.”

Devon Barrett, Group Chief Investment Officer at Victoria Mutual Group, sponsors of Harbour View FC and the tour to New York, looks forward to the match-up.

“The VM Group picked a team that we thought would take it to the next level. They proved us right by winning the league,” Barrett said.

‘We at VMBS use the tagline ‘transform your everyday lives’ and we have seen the transformation of Harbour View from when the season started to how it ended. We will continue to support their growth.”

The football fiesta kicks off with a match featuring 8-10-year olds from the Griffin Football Club at 2 pm. At 4 pm, former Manning & DaCosta Cup players will square off in an all-schools match featuring the likes of Altimont “Freddie” Butler, Paul Young, Gregory Messam, Alton ‘Noah’ Sterling and Howard “Magic Head” Kerr among others.

September 3 marks the Labour Day weekend in the United States.

Harbour View blanked Dunbeholden 2-0 in the feature game of the Jamaica Premier League at the UWI-JFF/Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

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