ST BENEDICT’S College Premier Division football coach Leonson Lewis is praising his players for their fighting spirit and said it is the best group of players he has ever coached.

Before the final three rounds of matches St Benedict’s seemed destined for relegation as they laid at the bottom of the Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division standings with three points.

However, St Benedict’s won three matches in a row all by 1-0 margins to move from 15th (last) to 11th on the standings and avoid relegation.

The bottom three teams were relegated.

Lewis, a former national footballer, said he always had high hopes for the team. “(I am) very proud of the boys because I had a belief from the start that if we had to save it (season) we had to save it in the last game. I told them this and I tried to make them believe that it was still very possible (to avoid demotion).” Lewis plauded the players’ never say die attitude. “It is very difficult for players to come every game and lose, and come every game and lose, and come to training and don’t complain and be professional and come out there everyday. They were really a bunch of professional young players. The best bunch I have ever coached. To come out and fight everyday for what they believe in, for what they want.” The former Strike Squad forward said the accomplishment is not about him but the team.

“They really came up big at the end and we were able to save the season. So this is more a player victory than anything a coach could do tactically, this is totally on the players. The players deserve all the recognition for what they did and how they reacted.” St Benedict’s captain Daquon Foster moved from right back to stopper at the end of the season and Lewis said that switch among other tactical changes led to improvement. Lewis said Foster is a quality captain. “I gave him my captain band, it’s a captain band I bought in Colombia, and I told him he is the best captain I have ever coached in my whole life. I don’ think I could get a better captain with a better humble personality than that.” Lewis said goalkeeper Jasper McLeoud, who helped the team to three clean sheets at the end of the season was consistent throughout the season.

The St Benedict’s coach also explained that defensive work with the midfielders led to victories in the last three matches.