Hector Sam, Micah Lewis among new signings
Police FC have strengthened their squad ahead of the 2014-2015 Pro League season, and for head coach Richard Hood, the likelihood of the ending two trophy-less decades has improved.
“I think we would be winning titles this season,” said the 49-year-old Hood.
He added, “Upon taking up the post (of head coach in 2012), my declaration was to win titles, and I gave myself three years. We have been heading in the right area towards achieving.”
Last season Police finished 7th in the Digicel Pro League but picked up a boost in confidence at the end of the season by reaching the Final of the Digicel Pro Bowl, the first final achieved in 18 years.
Police’s previous appearance in a Final was in the 1996 FA Trophy when they lost to Defence Force, and two years earlier, 1994, was the last time the ‘Lawmen’ won silverware, capturing a double with the National League and FA Trophy titles.
Although his side lost 3-0 to W Connection in the Final of the Pro Bowl last May, Hood said it served as a confidence booster, looking towards the new season.
“It was a major achievement getting into that Final,” continued the Police coach. “Only then did our players realise that we have the capabilities.”
Utility player Noel Williams, 30, has returned to Police FC after a loan spell at Caledonia, while 36-year-old veteran forward Hector Sam and midfielders Micah Lewis, 24, Keron Neptune, 28, and Devon Jamerson, 26, are all new additions to Hood’s squad.
Sam, a former Trinidad and Tobago international and England-based player, last represented Central FC, while Lewis, Neptune and Jamerson last represented San Juan Jabloteh, Point Fortin Civic and North East Stars respectively.
“We know that Noel is a character that we have to handle,” explained Hood. “He is very technical and skillful but mentally he needs to get himself in order. We are happy that he is back because he is a great player that can do great things if he has the right mentality.”
Commenting on his new acquisitions, the Police coach added, “We wanted to strengthen, and will continue strengthening our squad as we go along …particularly offensively. Last season we basically we had one striker in Jameel Perry, so we brought in Hector Sam, who has experience and ability. We needed a bit more dynamism in wide midfield hence the reason for Micah Lewis as well as a couple other additions.”
Hood’s pre-season additions entered a very talented pool, which comprises of experience, youth and skill.
Both very experienced central midfielders, team captain Todd Ryan, 31, and vice-captain Trent Noel, 38, leads a squad that includes: goalkeepers Adrian Foncette, Keston Mata and Theon Browne; defenders Anton Hutchinson, Karlon Murray, Dexter Alleyne, Errol Charles, Jasimar Ashers, Brendon Christopher, Jibri Mc David, and Elijah Belgrave; midfielders Kenaz Williams, Kurdell Brathwaite, Kareem Perry, Aaron Downing, Kaaron Foster, Elijah Roberts, Kerry Fredricks, Marcus Chandool and Under-21s Joel Kevin Lewis, Tafari Williams and Jabari Williams; forwards Jameel Perry, LJ Akeem Mitchell; and utility players Clevon Mc Fee and Christon Thomas.
“We now have a very strong offensive unit,” declared Hood, who is assisted by first assistant coach/goalkeeper coach Glennon Foncentte, second assistant coach Andy Roberts, a former Police midfielder, and trainer Brian Kennedy.
“I’m very pleased with our preparations. We have worked very hard and this is the first time in the last three seasons that we’ve had a proper/full pre-season. For the first time we are fit and in our practice games we have won them all.”
Hood added that Police FC’s management have also addressed problems that have affected the team in recent years, such as balancing work commitments.
“We shouldn’t have to face problems when the work affects our preparations. It’s always like we are starting over when our players are called out for long periods such as the Carnival time and so on, and we lose games between as a result.”