September 2022 Volume 18

KC drafts Andrew Edwards as restructuring of schoolboy football programme takes place

Reprinted from Jamaica Observer
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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Reigning Manning Cup and Olivier Shield champions Kingston College (KC) are restructuring their schoolboy football programme ahead of the start of the 2022-2023 season.

Following the resignation of Ludlow Bernard, who brought plenty of success to his alma mater in the last few years, the school and the management team have brought in former National U-17 football coach Andrew Edwards as Technical Director, while elevating former assistant coach Raymond Watson to head coach of the Manning Cup team.

This announcement was made on Wednesday morning at the school at 2A North Street in Kingston.

In addition to Edwards, Lorne Donaldson, who recently guided the Reggae Girlz to World Cup qualification, and former Kingston College great, Howard Bell, have been drafted as technical advisors to the programme.

Manager of the team, Donovan Germain, explained the reason for the massive change to the programme at KC.

“We needed a proper structure,” he stated. “The school has been without a proper structure for a period of time and the departure of Luddy (Ludlow Bernard) showed us more why we need this structure because it left Watson as the only coach in the system of three teams.

“Realistically speaking, if anything happened to (Watson) or if he walked away we would be without a coach. So, we decided to put a proper structure in place that is not dependent on one person. It is a structure that will have continuity in terms of coaches in place. So, I am so happy that Mr Andrew Edwards, a renowned coach with a lot of experience, has decided to be a part of our programme.

“Mr Lorne Donaldson, who is the coach of the Reggae Girlz has decided to also be a part of the programme and Mr Howie Bell, an iconic football figure from Kingston College, has also decided to volunteer,” Germain revealed.

‘He also explained that another person will be added to the coaching staff to serve the junior teams.

“So, I am much more confident that we are putting the pieces to the puzzle right now. Another announcement will be made in terms of another coach, but we cannot make that announcement now.”

Germain believes that the moves made by the champions will allow for continued success at North Street.

“I am very, very happy with what we are doing right now. We are quite comfortable that we have the proper structure in place,” he concluded.

Dave Myrie, principal of KC said that it was the perfect time, following the departure of Bernard, to effect long-term plans for the programme.

“Kingston College has done well over the years with both coach Luddy (Bernard) and coach ‘Stampy’ (Watson), but what struck us heavily after coach Luddy left, was that what we have is two coaches, but not necessarily a structure around the football and a structure which also would ensure the smooth transition from U-14 to U-16 to Manning Cup.

“So, we thought it was an appropriate time for us to revamp or restructure the programme to ensure sustainability with the program but also to ensure that our programme can withstand whatever shocks may come.

“Hence, we have gone for having both a Technical Director, coach for Manning Cup, coach for Colts and also the Under-14 as well,’’ he explained.

Edwards, who has had success as a schoolboy football coach, winning the DaCosta Cup with St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) explained the role that he would be taking up at the home of the Manning Cup champions.

“As Technical Director, it is not about the day-to-day coaching per se, but more so to prepare the football of the future.

“The idea that I got from the management and the principal is that we want to put a structure in place that will be sustainable, meaning that we want to be at a competitive level every season that we can compete for the championships and bring titles to Kingston College.”

Edwards said that the school wants to prevent another drought like the one that saw them go more than three decades without lifting the coveted Manning Cup trophy.

“The school went through a period of 32 years where they didn’t win (the Manning Cup). In the last three or four years, they have won a lot of championships, including two Manning Cup titles and the Olivier Shield. So, the intent is to continue that winning streak as long as we possibly can, but more so to create an environment in which high performances become an everyday thing and not something that happens sporadically,” he stated.

While he wants KC to continue winning, Edwards said the focus is not on him but on the success of the programme and the school.

“It's not about me trying to win per se, but certainly being part of a winning team and a winning environment is something that every coach wants to be a part of and while I will not be coaching day-to-day, I look forward to contributing in my own way to the success of the team and to be able to celebrate Manning Cup and Olivier Shield titles.”

In his tenure as head coach at KC, Ludlow Bernard won the Walker Cup, Super Cup, Champions Cup, Olivier Shield and the Manning Cup, twice. The new coaching staff will have very big boots to fill.

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