Brazilian Leonardo Neiva is yet to officially take up duties as head coach at the western Jamaica Premier League outfit Montego Bay United Football Club because he is yet to receive a work permit.This is a month after the announcement that the South American would have officially taken over as the new coach, following the departure of American Timothy Hankinson in November.Orville Powell, MoBay United’s owner, said Neiva’s paperwork is being processed and he hopes that it will be very soon.”The coach came here for us to really look at him. He didn’t come with a work permit as we did not know we would have wanted him. The authorities came by and we told them what it was all about and they told us to do the right thing, so we are doing the right thing,” Powell explained.”We have made the application now. All the documents are in order. We just have to wait until the approval, which is solely dependent on the Ministry [of Labour]. But it’s the [Christmas] season now, and we are mindful of how the holidays can slow a process, so we just have to wait and see how long,” he continued.In the live televised game on Monday night, MoBay United played away at Harbour View and the Brazilian was seen taking notes and even barking instructions to players from the sidelines until he was spoken to by one of the match officials at half-time.He was not seen after the break, but Powell thought his presence should be of no concern to the match officials.”I don’t know why the official should be concerned with him. He is not on the match card; there is no documentation that he is a part of the system. He is a spectator, so I don’t know why an official would want to say something to him,” Powell said.”But we have to be mindful because we blundered with him coming here. We overjumped the procedure, so we just have to correct that because we had the cart in front of the horse.”We are not blaming anybody. It’s our responsibility, and we just have to make it right,” he continued.Meanwhile, the team sits atop of the standings with 33 points from 18 games, the same as Portmore United, who have an inferior goal difference.”We really appreciate where we are, but we think we could have done better. It is not an easy league and the teams are coming at us, so we have to do a whole heap to maintain ourselves at the top.”
LEADING BATSMAN LONDON (CMC): Marquee West Indies women’s players Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin are among 18 overseas players set to highlight the inaugural Women’s Super League bowling off here this summer. Both players played key roles earlier this month in helping to fire the Caribbean side to their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup title, with a win over three-times defending champions Australia Women a fortnight ago. Jamaican Taylor, the Windies captain, has signed on for Western Storm, while Dottin, a Barbadian, will play for Lancashire Thunder. The six teams – also comprising Loughborough Lightning, Surrey Stars, Southern Vipers and Yorkshire Diamonds – will do battle in the Twenty20 campaign under a round robin format from July 30 to August 14, with the final set for August 21. Taylor is one of the leading batsmen in the women’s game in both shorter formats, and was voted Player of the tournament in the recent T20 World Cup for her 246 runs an average of 40. She will line up alongside South African Lizelle Lee and New Zealander Rachel Priest, with top England players Anya Shrubsole, Heather Knight and Fran Wilson all included. General manager Lisa Pagett said Taylor would be an asset to Storm. “We are really excited to have Rachel, Stafanie and Lizelle playing for Western Storm this summer,” Pagett said. “They are exciting cricketers and potential match winners in their own right. To have players of this calibre playing alongside Anya, Fran and Heather makes for a really exciting Western Storm line-up.” Dottin, meanwhile, will arrive with quite a reputation. She was the first woman to score a T20 hundred – off just 38 deliveries – back in 2010 and was also excellent with both bat and ball in the recent World Cup. Both Taylor and Dottin also played in the Women’s Big Bash League last December.
On the face of it, when the whistle blows at the Montego Bay Sports Complex this afternoon at 4 p.m., or whenever, signalling the start of the 2016 Red Stripe Premier League final, promoted team and multiple champions Portmore United should start as favourites. The team, which originated in the parish of Clarendon under the name Hazard before changing base to Portmore in St. Catherine but now straddles both parishes, has been the most consistent this season. That consistency saw them crowned ‘League’ champions as they ended the regular season with the most points and were duly rewarded with the $1m bonus. Additionally, Portmore United have owned Montego Bay United (MBU) on the three occasions that they have met this season. In their match, which marked their return to top-tier football, they defeated Montego Bay United 2-0, with Montego Bay resident Ricardo Morris responsible for one of them. That was followed up with a 1-0 win at the Juici field, courtesy of a Cleon Price strike. Morris was again on the score sheet along with Tramaine Stewart and Mark Alves as Portmore United left Montego Bay with a 3-1 win in the last meeting. QUALITY TEAM Even with the evidence, which is helped by the depth of their available squad, Portmore United coach Jeffrey Hewitt will not accept the favourites’ tag. “To me, MoBay will be starting favourites. This is their third consecutive final and that shows that they are very consistent. They are quality team and their record speaks to that, so no one can take anything away from them,” said Hewitt who was a part of Portmore United’s coaching staff when they won in 2008 and 2012. “Despite that, we are confident in our abilities and what we can do. Yes, we have beaten them in the three matches that we have played so far, but the past does not matter now. What matters is what we do on the day,” added Hewitt. According to the man who distinguished himself at Garvey Maceo, the Portmore United unit is so focused right now that nothing will distract them. Not even the protest action by MBU, which has seen them boycott a number of promotional events leading up to today’s big day and them threatening not to show up for the 4 p.m. start. “We are so focused that we are not entertaining any thoughts of them turning up or not. We are preparing for a 4 p.m. game and we will be showing up for that. “Tomorrow’s game, we are anticipating, will be a very competitive one. It is a final and our players know what is at stake and we have to go out there and compete,” he added. VERY OPEN While the Portmore United camp has been very open, the Montego Bay United camp has not so much as entertained a call or interview request from the media in relation to today’s game. The Sunday Gleaner, however, managed to speak with someone close to the camp. “My players are ready for the game. They have not been distracted by what is going on, and they will be showing,” the source said. “This is the third final that the team has been in, the past three years, and this is important to us. The first year, we won; last year, we came second; and this year, we are going out to win again. “Even if it is nine players, we are going to play them. No team can beat Montego Bay United four times in a season,” the source added. In addition to the record going against them, Montego Bay United have the offfield distractions which could spill over on the field going against them. Add to that the absence of two of their most potent players – Owayne Gordon, the season’s leading scorer to a loan deal, and Dino Williams to an injury. Allan Ottey is the only one available of that pacy and skilful trio. A lot will depend on the former schoolboy star who shone alongside Portmore’s Morris for St James High. Injury kept him out for chunks of the season, but he will have to lead the forward line with support from Cory Hylton. Goalkeeper Jacomena Barrett is a player with a lot to prove as he is a former Portmore United player and conceded three goals in the last match. Losing again will not sit well with him. If he reports in inspired form as he has been on occasion, he could lift his teammates. With almost everything stacked against them, this could be the motivation the Montego Bay United players need to pull off the improbable victory.
The media have a number of effects on sports, some of which have been very positive. For example, the media have: • Brought more sponsors to sports • Awakened public interest in sports so that people either play or watch sports more often • Made some sports performers rich and famous • Allow coaches and performers to study techniques on video and improve performance • Educate and inform about sports through documentaries, coaching programmes and discussion of current issues • Paid broadcast rights to sports governing bodies which are used to develop the sports. The media have also had some negative effects on sports. For example: • Some major sports get wide coverage, while others find it hard to get coverage in the media and minor sports find it hard to attract sponsorship. • Live television coverage often means smaller crowds at the game venue. An event may lose money as a result. • Sports personalities may find their private life in the spotlight. The influence of the media on sports, especially television, is very powerful. We can tell how important sports is to our culture by the amount of time and space the media devotes to it. Newspapers, television (terrestrial, cable and satellite), radio, magazines, films and the Internet are all forms of media. All of them devote a great deal of time and space to reporting, discussing and analysing sports. The impact the media has on sport began in the late 19th century, when newspaper first started reporting on games and events. Later at the beginning of the 20th century, radio began to broadcast live, whereas thousands of people attend a football match, the same match broadcast on radio could reach millions. In the 1980s, television turned many sports into entertainment packages, giving them a more glamorous image to attract viewers. In the 1990s, satellite and cable television transformed sports into a global phenomenon. Sports events can now be watched from anywhere in the world, live in your home. The audience that enjoys sports through the media is larger than the number of people who take part, and the opportunities for sponsors to advertise their product are increasing. Advertisers and sponsors back sports because of the exposure they get in the media. Television and radio allow individuals to experience live coverage of matches and sport discussion programmes, where people talk about events and performers. Newspapers carry reports of matches and events, comments and sports news. Sports magazine are also a growing area of the sport media. They concentrate on specific sports and sport personalities. Events presented by the media have been ‘packaged’. They decide what to put in and what to leave out and what point of view to take, for example, in TV sports the camera operators and video editors decide which shots you see and from which angle. The producers decide who should be interviewed. What is presented is often more exciting than the actual event. This is credited to closeup shots, slow-motion replays, dramatic commentary and interviews. In all of the media the way an event is package depends on the time, space and money available. But it also depends on the aim of the media, which might be to: • Entertain • Inform • Educate • Hype an event • Attract attention • Please the sponsors • Express a particular point of view The media have turned sportsmen and sportswomen into celebrities. Top performers became household names. As a result, they attract attention from sponsors and advertisers. For example, the media attention given to Lionel Messi in football and Usain Bolt in track and field athletics have made them into household names. POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA
Group A: – Clan Carthy vs Jamaica College – Tivoli vs Calabar at Edward Seaga Stadium Group D: – Penwood vs St Mary’s College at Cling Cling Oval Group E: – Bridgeport vs Wolmer’s at Dunbeholden field – Kingston High vs St Jago Group G: – Campion College vs Kingston College – Jose Marti vs Camperdown (Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.) Wolmer’s Boys will face Bridgeport High in a top Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup football competition Group E clash at Dunbeholden field in St Catherine, today, starting at 3:30 p.m. St Jago and Wolmer’s are locked on 13 points apiece in the group, however, St Jago have a superior goal difference. Bridgeport occupy third position on nine points, followed by Mona (6) and Kingston High (0). With that picture, the Wolmer’s camp is fully aware that a win would put them in a better position for one of two automatic spots in the group to advance to the next stage. Today’s games “This game coming up against Bridgeport is very important. We knew that the games against the St Catherine teams (Bridgeport and St Jago) are key to us advancing from the group. We had a draw against Jago on Friday, and now we face Bridgeport,” coach of Wolmer’s Vassell Reynolds told The Gleaner yesterday. “We are most definitely looking for a win, but that won’t be easy playing away to a team that is still in contention,” the veteran schoolboy coach reasoned. Alphanso Gooden is Wolmer’s top scorer with four goals, and he should get good support from Delano Smith on two goals and captain Kashaun Smith. Meanwhile, Bridgeport will also be coming all out for a victory that would improve their slim hope of qualifying for the next round. Bridgeport’s new coach Garnett Lawrence is looking forward to this return fixture after losing the first game 2-0 at Wolmer’s last month. “We have been saying to the team all week that this is the game that could make or break us. It is important to secure all three points to stay in contention for a place in the next round,” Lawrence who took over as coach this season, said. In another game, defending champion Jamaica College is highly expected to easily beat Clan Carthy, and cement a spot from Group A to the next round. – M. S. IMPORTANT GAME
Recently there appeared a story borne of and written by this columnist. It featured a suggestion, albeit a public one, to two of Jamaica’s best ever sprinters, who sat atop the planet during the 2005 to 2007 period. Quoting from the article, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson “had produced positive samples when tested for forbidden substances … Under World body dictates, drugs in the system meant one overarching thing – the performer is ultimately responsible. The verdict was guilty, as charged.” The unfolding of the drama continues. “They copped 18-month bans which were later reduced on appeal to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It was in an attempt to salvage a damaged reputation that the matter was taken to the higher court and following that, the revelation came that the company that sold the substance to the athletes had delivered monetary compensation.” The suggestion was made that the two athletes make a contribution (in cash or kind) to the high schools where their enormous talent was nurtured. This would be a noble deed and not without precedent. Programs across the sport’s firmament need funds to sustain themselves. It is not inconceivable that there are some athletic gifts languishing at either institution that are waiting to be further developed, with lack of sufficient funds being the obstacle. In summary, the bottom line is that both schools, Charlemont High (Powell) and Manchester High (Simpson) could make productive use of gifted funds. This is said in absence of what this columnist thinks would have been an unnecessary verification check. This columnist does not take lightly the denial of a basic human right. However, the words of detractors to the thought of a ‘sharing of the wealth’ continue to rankle. They ignited the revolutionary and repressive thought of applying the muzzle to persons, who, as the saying goes, are entitled to their opinion. Open to question here is how much should such an entitlement be allowed to corrupt the mind of the reasonable and well thinking? A responder to the article, Wayne, and they are to be encouraged, described it as “an improper suggestion”, going on to lambaste by further comment “tek yu eye offa di people dem money, some a unu too damn grudgeful and bad mind”, ending his typed assault with “disgusting’. Another, Raymond, posting under a banner as though associated with Powell’s school, identified the thought as “bad mind active as usual!!!”. Yet, another, a female, Georgia, was equally dismissive, asking some questions. “Share which wealth? Where were the supporters when they were stand accused? “No money can remove the tarnish, but it will help them and their family and who they want to give.” Tony wanted to know if the writer was “petitioning for the athletes (Powell and Simpson) to give up some of their settlement $$,” while wondering how serious was the writer. Foster’s Fairplay is fuming, straining at the bit, to say: “Shoo and leave the studio”. The article spoke to offering assistance in a struggle, to produce similar brilliance that these two outstanding and well-loved athletes have. They both have represented Jamaica with distinction, pocketing major medals at the highest level. Yet, the four posters would like to see some little ones for the future suffer for the lack of well needed funds, than follow in the footsteps of those who came before. Shame on you. Your voices are better not heard on this subject.
Leroy BrownGleaner WriterDamion Johnson and Shaneka Knight took top honours in the General Accident Open Tennis Championships, which ended at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston recently.The one week long tournament attracted 120 participants and produced excellent and competitive tennis throughout.Fittingly, it ended with a thrilling battle between Johnson and former Davis Cup captain Dwayne Pagon, that went to three sets. Johnson eventually prevailed, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.In the female final, Knight, who was seeded at No. 2 in the tournament, proved too powerful for the No. 1 seeded Ffion Fletcher, winning 6-4, 6-1.Pagon, who had an excellent tournament won the Men’s Professional 35 or older players, by defeating Yussuf Migoko 6-0, 6-2.Previously an amateur tournament, there was an upgrade this year with sponsors General Accident Insurance Company agreeing to come up with substantial prize money and making it an Open tournament.The Johnson versus Pagon clash produced the most exciting and competitive tennis of the tournament, and Pagon, who is now back to his old form, pushed the No. 2 ranked Jamaica player all the way. Johnson had consistently good all round court play throughout, but Pagon, although losing his service games several times, showed remarkable resilience and refused to capitulate.Daniel Hill won the Top 16 Invitational Junior Doubles event with 22 points with Cole McNair as runner up with 16 points. Karl James won the Members Invitational with nine points from Peter Berry with eight points. The Liguanea Club team of David and Stephen Shirley and Stephen Steele won the Club Team competition. The Oaklands team of Leighton Burton, Lloyd Nelson and Garth Darby, were the runners up. Matthew Rodriguez and Kobi Wilcott won the Sportsmanship awards.Sharon Donaldson the Managing Director of General Accident Insurance Company, said that she was very pleased with the growth of the tournament each year. She praised tournament organiser Llockett McGregor for the high standards seen and stated that the aim of her company was to make the tournament bigger and better each year.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland:Since her departure from high school, 29-year-old Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has spent all of her senior career in track and field under the guidance of MVP head coach Stephen Francis.Francis, arguably the top sprint coach in the world, has guided Fraser-Pryce to seven individual world titles. These include three IAAF World Championships 100m, an IAAF World Championships 200m, two Olympic 100m, and one IAAF World 60m Indoor title.With that record, most people expected Fraser-Pryce to remain with her successful coach until she decided to hang up her spikes.However, during the Rio Olympic Games, the bombshell dropped. Fraser-Pryce would part company with her long-time coach. At first, many believed it to be a wild rumour before Coach Francis confirmed that the news was factual.What are the real reasons for Fraser-Pryce’s departure?ATHLETISSIMA DIAMOND LEAGUEOn Wednesday evening, The Gleaner caught up with Francis at his hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, a day before the Athletissima Diamond League meet, where four of his charges, including Thompson, were down to compete.Francis was quizzed on the likely reasons for his star sprinter’s departure from his camp.As usual, he was frank with his responses.”Shelly informed me that she was unhappy with the job I had done with her this year,” Francis said while accepting the blame. He added that she said she was going to make a change.LOOKING AT THE FUTUREHe continued: “She had some good years, but looking at the future, I think she has every right to assess what is good for her. Staying with me as her coach was not best for her and so she told me that she was going to leave.”After guiding her to several titles at the highest level, Francis was asked if he thought this was a big slap in the face for him.”No, I do not think that way … the past is not relevant to a lot of people when they are making decisions about the future, and the most important thing for her and any athlete is ‘What will the future hold for me?”If she is going to continue in the sport, she cannot dwell in the past, regardless of how well she did in the past, and if she is unhappy and does not think she can achieve what she did in the past, she has to make that decision to move on,” said Francis.Francis was then asked if he thought the rise of his new star, Elaine Thompson, who won the sprint double in Rio, was a factor in Fraser- Pryce’s decision to exit the MVP Track Club.”I think we should take her word as it is. I mean, it is impossible for anybody to know what is in her mind. I have the tendency to take people’s words as they know what is going on inside of them, so even though it is tempting to make that kind of connection, I think it is perfectly reasonable that she doesn’t think what is being done in her training is good for her as she thinks that what has been done the past year was enough to have held her back, and she wants to move on,” he said.Asked if he thought that the fact that she had not performed at her best in the past year despite great success is over the years justified her leaving or if was there something else.”No, I do not think so. I think she is convinced that given the environment that is there, the setback could have been handled better and if changes which she wanted to be made were made, she would have had a better chance of defending her 100 metres title, and it is for her to make that decision. And it is she who has to bear the consequences, and I am hoping that her new training situation will justify what she said.”In the past, athletes who have departed from Francis to go elsewhere have not had the same success they had under his guidance, so Francis was asked if he thought Fraser-Pryce was special and could have success wherever she went.”I have found over the years that athletes who I have coached quickly developed a sense that the importance of their coach is reduced in their mind no matter how lowly a beginning they had. Eventually, in their mind, they believe they are extremely talented and my role is incidental to their success, and it is human.”In Shelly’s case, I think she has been through a lot of success. As a result, her expectation is very high and it is difficult to accept results which are not the best as she is used to it, and I think she has to be in a situation where there is a continued search for improvement. In this case, she thinks improvement is at an end and she has to take chances to see if she can get better,” concluded Francis.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):Vishaul Singh was dismissed four runs shy of a century, after leading two solid partnerships to steady West Indies A, who suffered two batting meltdowns against Sri Lanka A on the opening day of their first unofficial Test here yesterday.Singh, a middle-order batsman from Guyana, top scored with 96 to lead rescue efforts as West Indies A were bowled out for 276 at the Khettarama Stadium.Captain Shamarh Brooks played a key innings as well with a knock of 65, while an unbeaten 45 from Kemar Roach was the only other notable contribution.Opener Kieran Powell was dismissed for 36 and dropped Test opener Rajendra Chandrika continued his poor form when he was trapped lbw by Lahiru Kumara.THE RESCUE ACTThe visitors slumped to 56 for three after winning the toss and electing to bat before left-handed Singh arrived to initiate the first rescue act.He put together 125 for the fourth wicket with captain Brooks as the two set about the task of repairing the damage caused from early pressure applied by the Sri Lankan bowlers.Singh faced 187 balls and scored nine boundaries, while Brooks also hit the same number of boundaries, from his 107-ball occupation of the crease.West Indies suffered a second collapse when they lost three wickets for four runs before Singh rose to the occasion again with a 66-run stand for the seventh wicket with Roach.Roach, who struck three fours and the only two sixes of the innings, was unbeaten on 45.The standout bowlers for Sri Lanka were Asitha Fernando2-35, Charith Asalanka 2-53 and Asela Gunaratne 3-27.Sri Lanka A faced one over before stumps were drawn but did not score.
Netball Jamaica (NJ) will begin its search for a new Sunshine Girls coach early next year, after Minneth Reynolds’ contract was not renewed by the Paula Daley-Morris led administration.Wayne Lewis, a director at NJ, said Reynolds’ contract expired on November 30 and so the fact that she submitted a letter of resignation on December 31th was of no effect.”This is obviously an indication that she is not planning to come back to her job,” said Lewis. “This is also null and void for her to resign when her contract expired on November 30.”Lewis said he was very surprised that Reynolds did not seek an extension of her contract days after the Sunshine Girls’ 2-1 away series win over rivals England Roses in the United Kingdom.DECISION ACCEPTED”I am surprised that she would have made the decision not to seek to renew her contract after the team just won a series abroad. We have accepted the fact that her contract has expired and we do not have a coach right now.”Lewis did not say whether the association intended to extend the contract.Meanwhile, the netball director told The Gleaner that efforts will now be made to find a replacement.”Our next board meeting is due early in the New Year, and at that time, we will start the process of selecting a new coach,” he stated.When contacted yesterday, Reynolds said she would not discuss the matter.Reynolds was appointed Sunshine Girls coach in 2014, taking over from Oberon Pitterson-Nattie.She has had mixed results during her tenure as head coach as the senior netball team finished fourth at the 2015 World Championships in Sydney, Australia.The Jamaicans also failed to win a match against the top sides Australia and New Zealand under Reynolds’ watch.