Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

Individually and in relay teams, Kito Campbell displayed dominant form in his season opening competition and with time on his side, the future is bright.

In fact, if all goes according to plan for Campbell this season, then an Olympic Games appearance in Paris later this year, could very well be on the cards, especially if he continues his rapid improvements in the breaststroke events, under the guidance of legendary Jamaican swimmer Sion Brinn.

“I'm aiming for the Olympics this year, but I think I'm going to take that one step at a time. I am in collegiate season now, so I just want to focus on being good for college, and then after that, focus on being good for the Olympics,” Campbell told SportsMax.TV.

The former Calabar High standout made the declaration after he smashed his own 50-yard breaststroke record during a season-opening meet, which pitted his Indian River State College against Rochester Institute of Technology and Grand Valley State University.

Campbell, currently in his freshman year, proved too good for rivals, as he stopped the clock in 25.14 seconds. He was almost a second ahead of runner-up Andrew Goh (26.04) of Grand Valley.

That time bettered Campbell’s 25.19 set at the 2022 PST 32nd Speedo Winter Championships, while representing Azura Florida Aquatics. He continues lead the National Junior College Athletic Association rankings in the event.

The 20-year-old completed the sprint breaststroke double when he took the 100-yard event as well. Much like he did in the shorter event, Campbell went out hard and left the field in his wake, as he clocked splits of 25.93 and 29.39 on his way to a final time of 55.32.

Campbell, swimming the breaststroke leg, which he completed in 25.09, earlier assisted his Indian River team to victory in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:30.47. He also placed fifth in the 100-yard individual medley in a new personal best time of 53.19, lowering his previous best of 53.60.

Having firmly established himself as the best Jamaican breaststroke in the yard and Olympic-sized pools, Campbell is now hoping to build on his current momentum, as his coach, Brinn has put structures and strategies in place that have aligned him on the path to success.

“Things have been going well for me so far, I've dropped times in all of my main events for this year and training has been going well. I feel like I'm improving constantly since I've arrived at Indian River, and coach Sean has been really taking me under his wing. I wouldn't say I've improved in strength drastically, but the technical aspect of turns, underwater and dives are just right,” Campbell explained.

Campbell, who has represented Jamaica at numerous championships, to include the Pan American (PanAm) Games, Commonwealth Games and the FINA World Championships, knows that swimming can be a game of centimetres and milliseconds.  As such, he admitted that he doesn’t boast too much in the expectations department.

“The details are what I have been fine tuning over the past couple months, and it's been getting better and better. I no longer go into seasons with expectations anymore, I just I race on the day, give of my best and the results will come,” he reasoned.

“But like I said, things are coming together, and I feel really good. I feel like I'm in a really good spot right now and I think the rest of this collegiate season is going to be great for me,” Campbell added.

Still, the former Kaizen Swim Club representative is well aware that it will not all be smooth sailing in the years ahead, as he pushes for longevity in his career, but the hope is to draw on experience to bring his Olympic dream to fruition.

“After the collegiate season, I have a few long course competitions that I'll have to contest, but I'm going to take that one step at a time. I usually don't like to mix too many things in my head, because I don’t want to be focusing on long course times when I'm only swimming short course. So right now, it's collegiate season and after that long course, and then we aim for the Olympics,” Campbell declared.

 

Cavalier Football Club registered a fourth win on the trot and, more importantly, moved closer to a top two position, after they blanked a lacklustre Arnett Gardens 3-0 in a lopsided rescheduled Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) contest at Sabina Park on Sunday.

Captain Kyle Ming (9th), Dwayne ‘Busy’ Atkinson (21st) and Shaneil Thomas (90+1), shared the goals, as the Rudolph Speid-coached team extended their unbeaten run across five matches –the last four with a clean sheet intact.

The win, Cavalier’s seventh of the season, propelled them into fourth position on 24 points, same as third-placed Tivoli Gardens, who has a slightly better goal difference.

Arnett Gardens, who ended the contest with 10 players after Roshawn Amos straight red card in the 80th, are also on 24 points, but were relegated to fifth position as the margin of defeat dented their goal difference.

Having addressed their previous defensive issues, Speid expressed pleasure with his team’s current vein of form.

“I remember we went 10 matches without a clean sheet (across competitions), we worked on it, and it is now paying dividends.

“We saw some things that we could exploit, so we changed the system and decided that ‘Parko Blacks’ [Fabian Reid] was going to have to play the hardest game of his life and it worked for us,” Speid said in a post-game interview.

“Another thing we are working on is making it difficult for opponents to pinpoint where the goals are coming from which is a good thing from our point of view. But we remember, we had it hard early in the season, so we are just getting back some of the players and the commitment, and I think that is what is now carrying us through,” he added.

Cavalier started spiritedly, as they wasted little time to impose their will on the game, which placed Arnett Gardens in an uncomfortable situation to play catch up.

Atkinson, who is one of a few players returning from overseas stints, proved menacing to the ‘Junglists’ defence, as he was involved in two of the goals.

The diminutive winger first floated in a weighted corner kick which eluded defenders and fell kindly for Ming, who easily headed past Asher Hutchinson, in goal for Arnett Gardens.

Atkinson, who was in Iceland, then displayed immense composure when he fired past Hutchinson at his near post, after a well-worked one-two combination with Dwayne Allen.

Orlando Russell, another player returning from overseas, should have extended Cavalier’s lead five minutes later when he went on the break and dismissed a lone defender, but his left-footed effort was kept out by Hutchinson.

In the 39th minute, Atkinson served up another weighted cross inside, this time an unmarked Russell at the far post, but he went for the spectacular and the chance went begging.

Arnett Gardens best chance of the half came on the stroke of the break when Warner Brown got behind defenders, but couldn’t beat Jeadine white, who left his line well.

The Xavier Gilbert-coached Arnett Gardens looked more purposeful on the resumption and created a few half chances, which they failed to make count.

That allowed Cavalier to get back into rhythm and it took Hutchinson diving full stretch to his right, to deny substitute Jalmaro Calvin’s 66th-minute effort.

Rushike Kelson went close for Arnett Gardens in the 72nd, as his well-taken free kick from the top of the arc rendered a five-man wall useless, but the effort couldn’t beat the right upright.

With Arnett playing a man short after Amos’s dismissal, Thomas capitalised on their poor defending, as he waltzed his way into the final third to fire past the hapless Hutchinson and cap the win.

Gilbert was left disappointed by his team’s dismal display.

“We were very flat; I don’t think we provided what we should have provided to cause problems to the Cavalier team. I think we were too narrow when we were in possession of the ball and they hit us in transition a couple of times, and we just didn’t execute so credit must be given to Cavalier for the way they executed,” Gilbert said.

Sunday’s results

Cavalier 3, Arnett Gardens 2

Harbour View 2, Treasure Beach FC 0

 

Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw believes there is no praise too high for Cedella Marley and her exploits which resulted in the country now boasting a solid women’s football programme.

Shaw, in a heartfelt post on Saturday, expressed gratitude to Marley for the work done over the past 10 years, as she partnered with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to raise funds for the Reggae Girlz, which inevitably led to consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup appearances in 2019 and 2023.

Marley on Thursday announced her resignation as Global Ambassador for Jamaica’s women’s football programme, citing the current state of affairs involving the senior Reggae Girlz World Cup representatives and the JFF as reason behind her departure.

She also stated that the federation is “neither receptive nor interested" in her "current manner of support”, and, as such, demitted the role with immediate effect.

As such, Shaw, who rose from humble beginnings and is now enjoying a decorated professional career at Women’s Super League (WSL) outfit Manchester City, paid tribute to Marley, who she said gave not only her, but other young girls, a chance to believe in their dreams.

“To the woman, who fought for us through all the constant struggles and mistreatment, I am forever grateful,” Shaw declared.

The towering striker, who is one of only a few players to have represented Jamaica at the Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and senior levels, simultaneously at times, recalled when JFF cut the women’s programme due to a lack of funding.

With over three years of inactivity at that time, the country was kicked off the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. However, Marley gave the programme a new lease on life in 2014.

Through her tenacity and committed fundraising efforts, Marley ensured the Reggae Girlz have not only etched their names in the annals of Jamaica’s and the world’s sporting history on numerous occasions, but are currently ranked at number 40. They only recently slipped from the country’s highest ever ranking of 37.

“When the senior programme was abandoned in 2008, due to lack of funding, there was no senior pathway. In 2014, 10 years ago, you came, and you kept every young girl’s hopes alive to one day represent Jamaica at the highest level,” Shaw said.

“(I remember) when you said ‘they said y’all couldn’t, and I said tell me why. When they said y’all wouldn’t, I said watch me.’ Here we are years later, qualified for two World Cup back-to-back, all because of your dedication and willingness to ensure we are given an opportunity. For that I am forever grateful,” she added.

Despite her resignation, Marley declared that she would continue to support the Reggae Girlz’ journey via the Football is Freedom initiative.

The Bob and Rita Marley Foundation has also cut ties with the country's governing football body in what it said was a move was to “reassess its priorities.”

It is every young footballer's dream to play on the global stage, but first they would require the necessary platform to parade their skills with hopes of being recognized by astute overseas-based coaches.

Such is the case for some of the Caribbean's top young players, who are provided an opportunity to take their talents beyond the shores and, by extension, bring their dreams of making it big on the global stage within reach, courtesy of the Caribbean Premier Showcase.

The Caribbean Premier Showcase, conceptualized by Jamaican-born Oniqueky Samuels in 2014, was meant to be a mere recruitment drive for universities and colleges in the United States, but has since blossomed into a developmental workshop.

The event is designed to test the mettle and skills of players from across the region under the watchful eyes of over 30 coaches from universities, colleges, clubs and academies across the world.

Having made stops in Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada over the years, Samuels, the Men’s Head coach and International Advisor at the University of Maine, Fort Kent, has opted to bring the showcase back to Jamaica, with action scheduled for Friday and Saturday starting at 9:00am.

St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) Sports Complex in Santa Cruz will be the first stop, before Samuels and team cap things off at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence in Kingston.

The showcase involves a number of games in the morning from which coaches will select the various players they want to see advance. In the afternoon, an All-scholastic team, selected by ISSA, will square off against an All-star team selected by the coaches. Following those engagements, the All-manning and All-daCosta Cup teams will lock horns against the All-star teams selected by the coaches.

After leaving Jamaica the Showcase will head to Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Samuels pointed out that his inspiration to launch such an initiative stemmed from his own journey, as he was awarded a scholarship to the University of Maine, Fort Kent in 2007, and has made full use of the opportunity.

The soft-spoken Samuels completed two degrees at Maine, Fort Kent, and later transitioned to Union College where he started his coaching career. After spending two seasons at Union as a graduate assistant, he was hired by Maine, Fort Kent as an academic advisor and assistant coach, before taking the reins as of his current position in 2018.

“I'm excited about how everything is manifesting. It started as just an itch to give back to young Jamaicans as soon as I got an opportunity coaching. So, I wanted to recruit you know personnel from similar background as mine and it has transitioned into this that you're seeing now,” Samuels, who is also the founder of the Samuels Soccer Foundation, shared.

“It is so satisfying, a lot of persons are hopping on board and making this an official event. That's the main objective, to make this an official annual event that can give young Caribbean players an opportunity to excel, whether you know excel in football or excel in academics because at the end of the day it started by just you know offering scholarships to universities and colleges,” he added.

According to Samuels, another key component to the Showcase is the fact that it also prepares the successful recruits mentally for their transition into a new environment.

“It helps with the want-to-do-well mindset because you want to make better for your family. So, at the end of the day, you have me that have gone through with you have Rajay [Maragh] that has gone through it, many of the personnel who are assisting and volunteering for this showcase, have gone through it. We also offer that connection and relationship with the coaches as well, so if there are issues or any kind of conversation that needs to be had, you know we're going to have those conversations. So, we kind of maintain somewhat of a relationship as a kid gets an opportunity. They're not just thrown out into wherever they land and just expected to do well,” he explained.

 

That said, Rajay Maragh, the Showcase’s chief operating officer, argued that it would be remiss if they didn’t stress the need to balance academics and the athletics to allow for greater success. This, he said is often an issue as some student-athletes forget that they are students first.

“That is one of the challenges we had last year too. So, we had a player who did well at the showcase, the coach is interested. We go into the system, and we pull up his profile, but the grades are not matching. These days, Colleges are not necessarily giving full scholarship like that. They'll give you an academic scholarship, and an athletic scholarship and together that would make it a full scholarship. So, you may have a coach that offers a player 60% in sports scholarship, which means the other 40 needs to come from your academic progress,” Maragh revealed.

On that note, President and founder of Value FC Emelio Williams gave insight into what the coaches will be looking for.

"Whether you play top tier college football or professional football, one of the first things is just character. You know your academics well. I'm a supporter of schools because we run two professional teams in Europe and you're a brand. The club is a brand, the team is a brand, each player is a brand. You might score 30 goals for the season, but if your actions bring the club in disrepute, it's all for nought. So, character and all the things that come with just the discipline, the commitment, the drive, being a good teammate, hard work. Those things are massively important to any college coach and to any professional organization. I would say character and then obviously your football and talents or your academic, your athletic talents are massively important," he said.

Despite struggling to find some semblance of consistency, Waterhouse FC continues to get points on the board, as they defeated Harbour View 2-1 in a lukewarm Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) encounter at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Andre Fletcher (43rd) and Javane Bryan (58th) were on target for Waterhouse, while Nigerian-born Chidalu Chukwuemeka, pulled one back for Harbour View in the 49th.

The win provisionally pushed Waterhouse into sixth position on 19 points, one ahead of Cavalier, who will be in action on Thursday, while Harbour View’s dismal start to the season continues and, as a result, they remain 11th on nine points.

Waterhouse’s assistant coach Damion Gordon welcomed the result as a step in the right direction to achieving their objective of making the playoff.

“We talk about consistency and that’s what every team is searching for, so once we find some consistency, we should be moving forward. But overall, our objective is simple, we want to finish in the top six and we are working towards it,” Gordon said in a post-game interview.

“It is just a work in progress for this team; it is about building a unit and the transfer window is now open, so hopefully we can get some numbers to strengthen the team. We have influential and experience players at the back, being solid at the back and efficient in front of goal is something that we want to achieve, and like I said, we are working towards it,” he added.

Waterhouse was more threatening in open play for most of the first half, and they eventually broke the deadlock when Fletcher pounced on a loose ball and fired home from close range to make it 1-0 at the break.

Harbour View showed more purpose in attack on the resumption and pulled level four minutes in when Chukwuemeka picked up a pass from Andre Fagan and calmly converted from just inside the 18-yard box, as he registered his first goal in Jamaica’s top-flight.

However, Harbour View’s celebrations were short-lived, as they succumbed to a blistering counterattack. Denardo Thomas produced a burst of speed from the middle of the park, and later played a pass across the box for Bryan to fire home his ninth goal of the season from dead centre of the 18-yard box.

There was very little to write home about from there, as the contest lost its tempo, with Harbour View in particular, seemingly accepting their fate.

This has left their assistant coach Sean Fraser infuriated.

“Our defensive shortfall is our Achilles heels, we have tried many things and we have been working hard in training, but it was just a total lapse in concentration that gifted the first goal, and the second goal Waterhouse punished us for it. So, it has just been a see-saw kind of thing. Right now, I am very upset because we have been putting in the work, but we are not getting the results, so it is just back to the drawing board to continue the work,” he noted.

Wednesday’s results

Vere United 1, Dunbeholden 2

Humble Lion 1, Portmore United 4

Lime Hall 1, Mount Pleasant 4

Harbour View 1, Waterhouse 2

Tivoli Gardens 1, Montego Bay United 2

Thursday’s games

4:30pm: Molynes United vs Cavalier @Anthony Spaulding Complex

7:00pm: Arnett Gardens vs Treasure Beach @Anthony Spaulding Complex

Having been tasked with moving Humble Lion Football Club up the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) standing, veteran tactician Vassell Reynolds will be banking on his familiarity of the players and the club’s culture, as a unique platform to succeed.

Reynolds, who stepped away from coaching in the nation’s top-flight league after a previous spell with another Clarendon outfit Vere United, makes a long-awaited, and welcomes the new challenge, as he took the reins from Andrew Price at the Effortville-based Humble Lion.

“While I've not coached at the premier league level for some time due to personal reasons, I've always wanted to come back, and planned to, once a possible ideal opportunity presented itself. I believe coaching at this level is most coaches dream and it is a really good opportunity to test your capacity as a coach, so I welcome the challenge and I am very much looking forward to it,” Reynolds told SportsMax.TV.

Reynolds first assignment in charge at Humble Lion, is away to promoted outfit Lime Hall Academy at Drax Hall complex in St Ann, on Wednesday, a fixture which he could use to find his footing and, by extension, overturn the club’s fortunes from a three-match losing skid.

But beyond that, Reynolds’ main objective is to possibly secure a top six position at the business end of the season. At the time of writing, Humble Lion, who made the playoffs last season, and just missed out the season prior, were ninth with 11 points, on the 14-team standing.

“Our immediate aim is to steady the ship a little and to get some good consistent performances in, while we do little bit of refreshing up of the structure of the team. The target is to hold down a position in the top six, a position that we believe the team is more than capable of achieving,” Reynolds noted.

“The coaching environment in Jamaica, and especially at this level has always been challenging...I'm well aware of that, hence, I'm prepared mentally and plan to give it my best effort,” he added.

To achieve any semblance of success during his tenure, Reynolds, who also coaches Kingston College at the schoolboy football level, is very much aware that getting players to adapt to his philosophy will be essential.

But he foresees very little issue in that regards, as he once guided the club to the semi-finals in the 2015/16 season of the then Red Stripe Premier League.

“The club is based in the parish that I'm from...I've coached there before, and I am very familiar with some of the players and the culture of the club. So, I am basically off to a good start, and based on discussions with all parties involve and what I've seen so far, I'm pretty confident that my philosophy will be accommodated,” Reynolds declared.

After assisting Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls to break a lengthy 16-year medal drought when they secured bronze at this year’s Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa, Shanice Beckford toyed with the idea of retirement.

At that time, Beckford was convinced that she had accomplished all she set out to in a fairly successful career spanning 10 years. After all, she was also a part of three teams that won Commonwealth Games medals in 2014, 2018 and 2022, that goes along with Fast5 medals in 2013, 2017 and 2018, as well as a 2015 stint in England’s Superleague.

The only void Beckford felt as she reflected on her journey, was the fact that she didn’t parade her skills in the Australian Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League, though she had already given up on that dream.

But as fate would have it, a one-year deal with SSN outfit West Coast Fever came at an opportune time for Beckford, who was virtually at her wits' end.

“I am still processing to be honest. The thought of playing in the SSN has been a lingering desire of mine for years, and I had given up on the idea, so I am beyond elated that this opportunity that I have been waiting for has now materialized at this point in my career,” Beckford told SportsMax.TV.

“I feel incredibly fortunate, as this opportunity comes at a critical juncture in my life. Lately, I have been struggling to find the motivation to play netball at all levels, but this signing has reignited my passion and gives me a new sense of purpose. I am grateful for this saving grace and will do everything in my power to make the most of this incredible opportunity,” she noted.

“It is not just a dream come true, but a significant milestone in my netball career and life. The prospect of playing in the SNL has always been a driving force that has kept me motivated and inspired me to become a better player. This is a new chapter and phase in my journey, and I am ready to embrace it,” a beaming Beckford added.

The talented goal-attack will join Sunshine Girls teammates, ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler, and defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney at the Perth-based franchise for the 2024 season.

Besides the fact that it is an opportunity to add to her accomplishments, Beckford is well aware of the responsibility that comes with her new contract. It is a responsibility that she embraces but she is also focused on her commitment to her body.

“I am taking the same steps that everyone does while in a professional environment. It is important to be training at a high level, but it is also equally important to make sure you are taking care of your body so that you can be fit to perform at the highest level.

“So, for this new chapter in my life, it is almost like a whole new ball game. Although I am unable to join my team in Australia at the moment, I am keeping myself physically fit by following the necessary training programs, and mentally, I am working on getting my head in right space, basically a renewed mindset, and just preparing myself for the challenges that lie ahead,” Beckford shared.

To say that the 28-year-old has become one of world netball’s most influential and best performed goal attacks, would be an understatement. With a significant workload and craftiness on court, a deadly accurate shot, and a cheerful personality, it is safe to say that Beckford will have little issues fitting into the new environment.

In fact, it would come as no surprise if the Dan Ryan-coached 2022 champions were to extend Beckford’s contract at the end of the season. But for now, the 5ft 9in tall goal-attack is focused on the immediate task at hand.

“I'm feeling a bit nervous and anxious, but also very excited to bring my years of experience to this new opportunity and to continue learning, as there's always room for improvement. I have the right tools to play at a high level. So, my overall goal is to make the most of this new challenge so that I can continue to grow as both a person and a player,” Beckford declared.

“I just want to maintain an open mind and be willing to embrace new ideas and perspectives. Consistency is also crucial as it helps to build momentum and produce results. Hard work is a given, but being open to learning new ways of doing things is equally important. Finally, it's also about having a great season and more importantly, having fun while doing it, building strong relationships, and making meaningful progress,” she ended.

A facile victory to open his account on December 17, was a clear indicator of Intrestntimesahead’s immense potential, and so it came as no surprise that the Jason DaCosta-trained charge left rivals in his wake to top the Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL)-sponsored Jamaica Two-year-old stakes over a mile (1,600 metres) at Caymanas Park on Tuesday.

Piloted by the bustling Phillip Parchment, Intrestntimesahead romped the 10-horse Futurity contest –in which he was one of only two colts in the field–by three lengths and pocketed the $4 million purse for his connections.

Sent off at odds of 9-1, Intrestntimesahead, running from the number six draw, was held off the pace in fifth by Parchment, as stablemate Banadura (Robert Halledeen) dominated proceedings, with Matuso (Raddesh Roman) for company down the backstretch.

Comehometome (Reyan Lewis), and Run Julie Run (Omar Walker) were also in touching distance, as the leaders approached the half-mile mark, and it was at that point that Parchment got Intrestntimesahead into his running.

When they left there and headed towards the stretch run, Run Julie Run took aim at Banadura, and easily swept by the longtime leader as they straightened, but by then, Intrestntimesahead, had hit top stride and burst through on the rails.

From there, the writing was on the walls, as the Bold Conquest -My Friend Lucy charge, owned by Elizabeth DaCosta, covered the distance in a 1:39.2, behind splits of 24.0, 46.3 and 1:13.1.

Run Julie Run stayed on for second, with Fastnfuriouslinks (Javaniel Patterson) and Buttercup (Tevin Foster) completing the frame.

Meanwhile, veteran rider Oneil Mullings topped his peers with winners on the 10-race Boxing Day card. Mullings won the first and eighth events aboard Lion Talk for trainer Ryan Williams and Ricardo Brown’s City Hawk.

Howard Wallace may only be 14 years old, but he has already developed an exceptional mental strength and stubborn determination that will certainly serve him well throughout his budding swimming career.

Wallace is one of a few young athletes who can attest to rising above a difficult situation to achieve a remarkable feat, as he battled and overcame a serious shoulder injury to win seven medals at last year’s Goodwill Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

Though admitting that playing the wait game through recovery was sometimes frustrating, Wallace clung to the belief that his injury was a minor setback for a major comeback, and that resilience inevitably saw him fulfil a desire to represent the country.

“It was very difficult season for me because I got injured two months before the Goodwill Games and it was very hard for me to train. Most of the times I had to cut training extremely short, but I managed to pull through and make a recovery in time for the competition,” Wallace said.

“Both the low of the injury and the high of winning those medals told me that I was a strong and determined person, because even though I was injured I still pushed through. It also showed how much potential I have,” he added.

It is said that most great people have attained their greatest success just one step behind their greatest failure, and given what he has accomplished, those famous words of American author Napoleon Hill resonated with Wallace, as he recalled his journey back from injury, which threatened to derail his swimming ambitions.

“My shoulder injury was a massive setback back in terms of my training and preparation for my competitions. Most days, I would just cut training short, and I wouldn’t be satisfied with the amount of training I would get during the week, so it was quite hard to make a full recovery,” Wallace, who hails from Montego Bay shared.

“It was specifically bad because my best and favorite stroke is butterfly, and my shoulders are an integral part of performing that stroke. After training I would have to do physiotherapy sessions just to make sure there was nothing too serious happening with my shoulder, and to make sure I could go to meets and training.

“There were days when I could not complete a simple warm up set. But with the help of coach Rory Alvaranga and the physical therapist I improved overtime and was able to represent the country,” Wallace continued.

Blessed with a clean bill of health since his exploits in the twin island republic, Wallace, who currently attends Jamaica College, has made the most of it throughout the 2023 season with some credible performances.

“My season has been good so far, not necessarily my best, but I’m pleased with my performances because I know that with time I’ll be exactly where I want to be because I believe the best is yet to come,” Wallace declared.

Looking ahead, Wallace has his sights firmly set on making Jamaica’s team to next year’s Carifta Swimming Championships and has even taken steps to ensure he continues to improve his craft.

“I made the decision to undergo a more rigorous training course and become a lot more focused because it is my intention to qualify for and make the Carifta Games next year and make my mark.  My overall goals and ambition going forward is to continue competing for my country and by God’s grace, make it to the Olympics Games where I can perform internationally and make my country proud,” Wallace noted.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell is backing his team to bounce back from back-to-back defeats and secure a Twenty20 series victory over England, as they head into the decisive contest of the five-match affair in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday. 

Powell's side which was on a high after they opened up an early two-nil series lead with four-wicket and 10-run victories, was brought down to earth in the third and fourth encounters that England won by seven wickets and 75 runs respectively.

On both losing occasions, England's opening batsman Phil Salt hammered centuries, while West Indies batting was sub-par, as they lost wickets at regular intervals when gathering some semblance of momentum.

Still, Powell saw some positives, particularly in the most recent contest on Tuesday when Andre Russell made a brisk 51, as they were bowled out for 192 chasing 267.

“I think the way Andre Russell played, I think he give us some impetus at the back end of the innings, and it showed us that if we had batted properly, or if they had scored just a little bit less runs, we would have been able to get it," Powell said.

“I think the intensity at which we start was very low, and you know in a T20 game when you start with such low intensity it's very difficult to find a rhythm, and I think that's cost us. They posted 260 which was a very, very big total. If you're going to chase 260, everything has to go right and it's not it's not very often you see those things happen, so it was it was always going to be uphill task," he added.

With things now squared at 2-2, Powell is well aware that his regional side will not only have to learn from the defeats, but more importantly, reproduce performances from the top of the series.

In fact, he believes the situation requires some serious introspection, as it is imperative that they improve, both individually and collectively.

“We have to do some introspection. You know, as individuals, we have to look into ourselves and see if we have done ourselves justice, and if we haven't done ourselves justice, then it's obvious that we haven't done the team justice. So, some introspection and see if we can come up with some better plans to fix what's happening," Powell reasoned.

“I think in all the games the batting has stand up, hopefully the batting can stand up for the final game, but the bowlers have to come to the party. It has been disappointing for the last few games how we have executed as bowling group, so this final game provides an opportunity for us to get that right," he noted.

That said, the Jamaican expressed confidence that whichever 11 players take the field at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium for the day/night clash scheduled for 3:00pm, will represent with much gusto.

“, we always feel as if when we put guys on the park, it's the best combination for that game. We'll sit down, revise the plan, see if we can come up with different plans and if we come up with different plans, we'll find the players who can execute that plan," Powell declared.

"It's a final, and when it comes to final situation West Indies normally triumph so hopefully, we can pull it off," he ended.

 

Waterhouse Football Club again demonstrated why they are among the frontrunners to challenge for this season’s Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (JPL) title, when they outclassed the promoted Treasure Beach FC 4-1 in a lopsided encounter at Stadium East on Monday. 
 
Andre Fletcher rekindled his goalscoring form with a brace in the 24th and 82nd minutes, while Javane Bryan (32nd) and substitute Rondee Smith (90+2) got the others. Lorenzo Lewin (42nd) got the consolation for Treasure Beach, who ended with 10 players after Ramario Thompson picked up a second yellow in the 54th minute.
 
With the win, Waterhouse moved up to fourth position on 15 points, a mere four points off reigning champions and leaders Mount Pleasant on 19 points. Treasure Beach continues to find life in the nation's top-flight tough, as they sit 12th on the 14-team standing with seven points.
 
Waterhouse's assistant coach Damion Gordon, welcomed the performance, which he hailed as a testament of the players character, as he hinted and behind-the-scene challenges that have thwarted their progress at times.
 
"It shows a strong mentality; we did well to take our chances when they came and overall, it was a good team performance. We are growing, we've had our challenges and setbacks, but we are rising above them, and we will remain strong, so I believe some positive results are ahead of us," Gordon said in a post-match interview.
 
Though Waterhouse started favourites to take all the points, the Drewsland-based team's inconsistent run of three wins, three draws and three losses was such that it many weren't sure what to expect against their St Elizabeth opponents.
 
And they had an early scare which justified that much, as newly installed goalkeeper John Wilson toyed around with the ball and was rushed by a Treasure Beach attacker, who almost deflected the inevitable clearance into the net.
 
However, Waterhouse settled soon after and gradually gained the ascendancy in a good passage of play, but their hunt to break the deadlock proved fruitless at that point.

The go-ahead goal inevitably came when Nickoy Christian's well-timed pass sent Fletcher on his way, and the player sporting the number 15 jersey drove a right-footer past Carlye Holmes in goal for Treasure Beach.

Bryan doubled the lead eight minutes later with a cool, calm and collected finish from deep inside the 18-yard box his seventh of the season.
 
Waterhouse should have had a third in the 40th, as Denardo Thomas was allowed a free header at the far post, but couldn't keep the effort down after he rose above defenders to meet Shemar Boothe's weighted cross.
 
That let-off offered Treasure Beach some semblance of hope, even moreso when Lewin got in behind defenders and lobbed a left-footed shot over Wilson, who had no chance at a save, to make it 2-1 at the break.
 
Both teams came out spiritedly on the resumption, but Treasure Beach threatened first through Lewin, who produced a tidy run down the left channel, but couldn't pick out a teammate in the final third.
 
Waterhouse responded immediately courtesy of Bryan, whose effort was charged down by a defender. 
 
Despite the numerical disadvantage after Thompson took out Denardo Thomas from behind and was ejected,  Treasure Beach held firm until the latter stages of the contest when Waterhouse again gathered momentum. 
 
After having an earlier effort blocked, Flecther eventually completed his brace when he finished off a decent build-up orchestrated by substitute Revaldo Mitchell, who got by three defenders, and allowed Christian to provide another assist.
 
And minutes later, another substitute Leonardo Jibbison produced a darting run down the right channel and later picked out Rondee Smith, who fired home from the top of the 18-yard box to cap the win in time added.
 
Fitzroy Ambusley, assistant coach of Treasure Beach is confident that they will eventually find a momentum which will allow them to play another season of top-flight football.
 
"I would say unfortunate. We came here with the mindset to win but things didn't go our way. I thought the guys fought well even after we went down to 10 players, but it just wasn't our night. But we will continue to fight, and we will stay up (in the league)," he declared.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) presidential hopeful Raymond Anderson reaffirmed a commitment to lead with integrity, transparency and efficiency, as he believes his Real Solid Action (RSA) team boast the capacity to fulfill the objectives they have pledged to pursue, if elected on January 14.

In fact, Anderson, during the launch of his 27-page manifesto on Thursday, outlined a wide-range of plans to not only improve, but also to move the country’s football product forward.

To achieve this, he pointed out that his team will rely on eight key points –rebranding football, establishing a youth development programme, restoring financial stability, developing women’s football, regaining stakeholder trust, investing in fields and infrastructure, establishing local senior elite squads and facilitating qualifications –as their guiding light.

Anderson, a current vice-president said the decision to challenge incumbent Michael Ricketts, who has been at the helm since 2017, stems from the fact that he hasn’t been able to effect real change from the back seat, where decision-making is concerned.

"My association with the Jamaica Football Federation spans well in excess of three decades. This period includes the last six years with the current administration. The question therefore arises as to why am I challenging for the leadership of the Jamaica Football Federation at this time?

“My answer is simple: my association with the JFF has provided me with a comprehensive view of the challenges with which the JFF has been grappling. However, I have not been able to act on what I know is needed. I need to be in a position to make the decisions to make the difference required,” Anderson said during the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel.

Anderson revealed that chief among the challenges the JFF has faced over the last six years, is the fact that they have been operating under a restricted funding mandate from world governing body FIFA.

“Please recognise that this restriction is due primarily to poor reporting and accountability over the period. This has imposed enormous constraints on the JFF to pursue meaningful developmental objectives. In fact, the federation has been unable to meet some of its basic obligations which has resulted in unseemly public disputes with some of our key stakeholders, most notably, the players,” Anderson stated.

On that note, the former St Mary FA president argued that a lack of trust has been a feature of the current administration and, as such appealed to the 56 delegates across the three pillars to assist his RSA team to regain stakeholder trust, and more importantly, engage corporate Jamaica’s return to football.

“This current administration enjoys very little trust among its various stakeholders. Trust is essential to the efficient running of any venture. The JFF is no exception to this rule. Trust lost is often hard to restore.  Rebuilding trust is almost akin to putting Humpty Dumpty back together after the fall. We therefore have no alternative but to replace this regime,” Anderson declared.

He continued: “We neither have the time nor the resources to do otherwise. This administration needs to go, not because it is comprised of evildoers, but simply because Jamaican football cannot continue in its current state. Trust impinges on everything we do. Corporate sponsors will not support our programmes if they don’t trust us. That is why the administration has failed to garner any substantial support from corporate Jamaica.

“The public will not stand behind our teams unconditionally in the absence of trust, and our players will not be able to perform to their very best levels when they have no confidence in the administration. Under the current administration, we have qualified twice for the Women’s World Cup, but we have done so by overcoming unnecessary obstacles which were brought about by inefficiency, incompetence and lack of trust in the administration. This continues even up to today, four months after the last World Cup.”

Anderson’s RSA slate includes Keith Wellington, Jacqueline Cummings-Martin, Donald Beckford and Orville Powell, as vice-presidents, while Carole Beckford and Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron would serve as ordinary directors.

Meanwhile, Ricketts’s slate has Gregory Daley, Elaine Walker-Brown, Raymond Grant and Baron Watson as vice-presidents, with Rudolph Speid and Bruce Gaynor as ordinary directors.

“There is much to be done, but we are up to the task. There will have to be a considerable amount of cleaning and rebuilding, but we promise to retain those policies which have worked for football, and which we believe will be in the best interest for us to sustain. I extend an arm of friendship to you all, mindful of the possibilities which exist for the beautiful game and Jamaica land we love. I urge voters to join my team in the journey to achieving that dream,” Anderson ended.

For a fourth time in five seasons Clarendon College delayed their ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup celebrations in anticipation of Olivier Shield triumph. And for a fourth time in five seasons the decision was justified, as they reclaimed the badge of all-island supremacy after hammering Mona High 4-0 in the showpiece at the National Stadium on Wednesday.

Much like they did in a rampant display against neighbours Glenmuir High in the rural area decider, Clarendon College again demonstrated their class, seasoned with some individual flair at times, to secure their seventh Olivier Shield lien, with aplomb.

Christopher Hull with a brace in the 84th and 87th minutes, followed goals from the prolific Keheim Dixon (35th) and Deandre Gallimore (69th), and ensured that the title they first won in 1977 — then 1978, 1998, 2018, 2019 and 2022 — returned to their Chapelton base to complement their 11th daCosta Cup hold.

Winning Coach Lenworth “Teacha” Hyde was delighted that his players enjoyed themselves in the process, particularly the seven players, who were in their final schoolboy football season. Clarendon College just missed out on the treble after they lost the Champions Cup 2-3 to Glenmuir.

“I am very happy about it; I think we worked pretty hard this season; the boys wanted it really bad and as I told you before seven of the players are leaving us, so they were hell-bent on defending the Olivier Shield and it showed. They didn’t start out well in the first half but as the game went on the got into rhythm and they enjoyed themselves which is what I told them to do,” Hyde said in a post-game interview.

The much-anticipated clash between two of the most talked about teams this season, started as expected with Manning Cup champions Mona High showing first, as they got a warning shot off 30 seconds in.

Clarendon College gradually got into their rhythm and responded in the seventh minute with a series of chances after Mona failed to clear their lines.

Both teams continued their push for the go-ahead goal, and Mona again went close in the 27th, when a neat build up ended with ended with Kshaine Gordon driving a pass across the six-yard box, but none of his teammates was around to apply the finishing touch.

They rued that missed opportunity eight minutes later when an unmarked Dixon finished a free header at the far post from Gallimore’s weighted corner, for his 32nd goal of the season.

That goal knocked the wind from Mona, and gave life to Clarendon College’s attack, as they applied pressure in a decent passage of play at the backend of the half, but couldn’t get on target.

With the score unchanged at the break, the momentum stuck with Clarendon College and they almost doubled the lead in the 58th when Dixon twirled his way into space for a right-footed shot deep that was charged down at the near post.

Mona responded three minutes later and it took a big save from Clarendon College’s Roshae Burrell to deny Romarion Thomas’s head from close range.

But, any hopes Mona harboured of a comeback, were dashed when Gallimore fired home under pressure, for his seventh of the season.

The Craig Butler-coached Mona didn’t give up though, and Thomas again found space for a right-footer from a distance that was pushed over the crossbar by Burrell.

From there, it was all Clarendon College and Hull, who first rose above Mona’s custodian Ackeem Bernard to head home from a Jahmelle Ashley corner.

And three minutes later, the player sporting the number eight jersey secured a 14th goal for the season, when he struck a sweet left-footer from close range, that proved too much for Bernard, who helped the ball into the net.

Despite the loss, Butler was gracious in defeat.

“It was about not taking the chances and we eventually broke down. But I think the boys played well but Clarendon College was the better team on the day, and so we have to give them their respect for that,” Butler said.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell says he might sign off from international cricket at the end of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, as he believes the region possesses enough young talent to fill the gap after his departure.

The explosive player's declaration followed his much-anticipated return to action for the West Indies on Tuesday, when he produced an inspiring performance with both bat and ball to lead the Caribbean side to a four-wicket win over England in the first of five T20s.

Russell took a format-best three for 19 in his first international since the 2021 T20 World Cup, which induced an England collapse from 117 for two in the 11th over to 171 all out, with three balls unused.

He later smashed a 14-ball 29, in an unbroken 49-run partnership with captain Rovman Powell, who made a 15-ball 31, to see West Indies to their highest successful run chase at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The 35-year-old Jamaican, who expressed delight at being back in the fold, pointed out that the World Cup, to be hosted in the West Indies and United States, will be his last, but in the same breath, said he would be happy to return, if needed.

"It all depends on how the World Cup goes for me for me. To be honest, I still have a lot in the tank but based on discussion with the coach [Darren Sammy], I told him that after World Cup I would walk away from international cricket, but if they need me, I will come out of retirement," Russell said with sweat still trickling down his face after his player of the match performance.

"So that's the plan that I have; there are so many young talents here, all-rounders that are similar to myself, so sometimes you realize you're going into 36, so just give the youngsters the opportunity and if West Indies still need me, I would be willing to put in the hard yards for them to be honest," he added.

With questions surrounding his decision to comeback after a two-year absence, Russell explained that it was always on the cards, provided he performed well in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) a few months back.

"Sammy mentioned that once I did what I had to in CPL he would definitely enter my name for selection, and I had my fingers crossed because I always want to play for West Indies. Sometimes people might think otherwise and think we just want to play leagues, but I try to make sure that I look after my body to ensure that when I am called up, I am ready. So, I was ready and excited for this call up," he shared.

For Russell, the performance in which he removed dangerous opener Phil Salt, Liam Livingstone and Rehan Ahmed in his four overs, was almost as if scripted, as he revealed that he had dreamed of the outcome.

“Since I got the call up, I have been dreaming that my first match back, I would be player of the match. I loved the start that I got, picking up an important wicket, and then start to pull it back in the middle,” Russell said.

“I was excited to see all the guys there, trying to make sure that the plan that we discussed in the huddle came out and you know it was good to pull it back from a high scoring game to 170. We know how good of a quality spinners England have, so it was good to actually restrict them, and we could have some push and comfort to get the score,” he noted.

Finally, Russell, like the professional he is, dodged a bouncer when asked about the pending departure of Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Kyle Mayers, who all rejected the Cricket West Indies central contract.

“I was just scrolling on Google, and I saw that, I don't know what's going on really, but I won't get into that to be honest. I'm here to play cricket and I'm just happy that I can wear this crest on my chest. So, with off the field stuff like that, they must know why they turned down the retainer,” Russell said.

The second contest is scheduled for Grenada on Thursday.

If ever Cavalier needed a confidence-boosting performance after their Caribbean Cup final defeat to Suriname's Robinhood, they got in in a come-from-behind Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League win over reigning champions Mount Pleasant at Sabina Park on Monday.
 
The win was sweetened by the fact that Cavalier, who lost Jeovanni Laing to a second yellow in the 57th minute, not only achieved it with 10 players, but were also the first time to inflict defeat on Mount Pleasant so far this season.
 
Shaneil Thomas, who led their Caribbean Cup charge from the front with over five goals, started the comeback in the 73rd minute, before Antiguan Jalmaro Calvin, made the three points safe in the 82nd. Former Arnett Gardens captain Romeo Guthrie earlier gave Mount Pleasant a 50th-minute lead.
 
With the win, Cavalier jumped up to sixth on 11 points, while Mount Pleasant remain atop the standings on 19 points.
 
Winning coach Rudolph Speid lauded his team for a performance that's true to their character. 
 
"It was a difficult match; we were like 10th, and we are not used to being down there. We lost two matches in a row, again we are not accustomed to losing two games in a row, so I had a good feeling about this game, and after going down to 10, the boys showed character," Speid beamed.
 
"I know that they (Mount Pleasant) expected me to come and play three at the back, but this time we go played four because they had two wingers, and the wing back was overlapping so we were prepared to counter that. The red card kind of set is back a bit, but we were determined. 
 
"We have a winning mentality; our right back is only 17 years old his first game in this pressure situation, so we have a winning mentality. From training that's how we operate against each other, and they just never give up," he added.

After playing out a goalless first half in which Thomas of Cavalier had the best of the few chances created between both teams, as his close-range effort was kept out by Shaquan Davis, who got down well to his right, Mount Pleasant broke the deadlock five minutes into the resumption.

Devante Campbell, who gave a workmanlike shift on the left channel, provided a cross that was headed down by Dwight Merrick for Guthrie to finish through Davis's legs.
 
Despite Laing's dismissal from their backline minutes later, Cavalier fought on and went close to snatching an equaliser in the 71st, but Davis did well to deny Dwayne Allen's effort from the top of the 18-yard box.
 
They eventually pulled level two minutes later when Thomas picked himself up and scored from the 12-yard spot, after being felled inside the danger area by substitute Shande James.
 
Before Mount Pleasant could settle back into their rhythm, they found themselves behind nine minutes later when Calvin met, and expertly steered Gadial Irvings' weighted corner kick into the far corner, for his third of the season.
 
Mount Pleasant tried desperately to get back on level terms, and almost did so from a 92nd-minute goalmouth melee, which eventually ended with substitute Nathaniel James's left-footed effort being parried by Cavalier's goalkeeper Vino Barclett, who recovered well to parry.
 
Cavalier also went close in time added, through Thomas, who on the break and had time and space for a shot, which was kept out by Davis.
 
Mount Pleasant's Head coach Theodore "Tappa" Whitmore blamed complacency for their downfall.
 
"It was a good game but unfortunately we came out on the wrong end, but I think it was a well-deserved victory for Cavalier because after we went up 1-0, we got complacent, we know the Cavalier team knows how to play with 10 men and they showed that again tonight. We gave them too many options in the last half and it cost us," Whitmore stated.
 
Matchweek 9 results
Dunbeholden FC 2, Tivoli Gardens 2
Waterhouse 1, Portmore United 1
Vere United 2, Humble Lion 1
Treasure Beach 1, Montego Bay United 2
Lime Hall 1, Arnett Gardens 1
Molynes United 2, Harbour View 2
Cavalier 2, Mount Pleasant 1
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