The University of the West Indies Football Club historically qualified for the Red Stripe Premier League back in June 2015, when they played for a 2-2 draw with Savannah Sports Club. Though they had a rocky start, having lost their first three matches, they bounced back to finish fifth place in the league, with only one point separating them from
fourth-place finishers, Humble Lion.
According to Director of Sports at The UWI, Mona, Dalton Myers, having qualified, their main objective was to stay in the league, and try for a top 10 position. Co-captain and goalkeeper Amal Knight reiterated this and was overwhelmed by their historic fifth-place finish. “Coming fifth place was the highlight of the season. I think we did exceptionally well in the competition and it felt wonderful knowing that we were the first university team to have ever been in this league. The main aim of the season was to just remain in the competition and not get relegated and that objective was met,” he said.
Captain and attacking midfielder Rochane Smith credited their outstanding performance to the hard work of the entire team: “The support of the coaches, management staff, director and the entire team contributed to our success. They did a wonderful job and we are very grateful and happy. It was a great first season for us as players and we look forward to the next.”
Manager Kerry-Ann Robinson echoed similar sentiments. “Our debut performance has astonished many and we now have enough skill, knowledge and experience to challenge for the number one position next season,” she said. “I am grateful for those who came and supported the team throughout and I am imploring others to come on board to support the Pelicans.” She was especially thankful to several people who she believes contributed to the success of a historical season, including President Dalton Myers and his support staff, coaches Marcel Gayle, Andrew Peart and Neville Walters, physical trainer Evan Allen, physiotherapists Patrice Gayle, Michell Pryce and Matthew Parchment, equipment coordinator Mark Thompson, assistant manager Kirk Mullings and the grounds staff at the UWI Mona Bowl.
Meanwhile, Gayle was recently voted Red Stripe Premier League Coach of the Year following the team’s outstanding performance in the league.
The new season is slated to start in September, and the team is up to the task.
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