My Journal: Life as a Manager

tbuc

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Entry 49 (January 8, 2021): Beginning of the End



The January window is finally open, which means reinforcements have arrived. We needed some defensive help as we’ve been insistent at the back and thrown away way too many points late in matches. Here is how the first week has gone...




Incoming (1/2/21) - Our top three center backs are all in their 30’s and, although they’ve been good this season, they have been under achieving in my option. Leo Walsh is a much younger option who is full of potential. He’s in his second season as a starter in the Jamaican second tier. Given that experience, I have no problem inserting him into the starting 11 when needed.




Incoming (1/2/21) - Surrendering late goals has been a major problem for us this season. If you ask me, we could easily be in the top four if we were a little more focused in the final ten minutes of our matches. Jermaine Ulett is a defensive minded midfielder who should help sure things us off the bench late in a match when we need to hold a one or two goal lead. He should see plenty of the pitch. He too is in his second year as a starter and his six assists is pretty encouraging as well.




Incoming (1/2/21) - Wayne Lue is our biggest signing this month. He is a nature in the middle and on the right of the midfield and will be brought into the starting 11 right away. Lue has plenty of experience which includes time in the National League as well. I’m super excited to see what he’ll bring to the table. We were desperate to bring someone in to replace Valbert Campbell who has been out with a long term injury.




Incoming (1/2/21) - Like Walsh, Reggie Ortega brings us extra cover at the back. If you look at his stats from the past season and a half, you’ll see he’s had plenty of success in the second division.




Outgoing (1/2/21) - We signed Orlando Stewart last January to add a more defensive presence in the midfield, but he just never got going and has been disappointing. I transfer listed him back in November in hopes we could get his salary off the books.




Outgoing (1/6/21) - With all the new signings, I removed DeMarcus Osmond from our senior team roster and just like that Real Mona came in and snapped him up off our U21’s. He’s still very young with loads of potential and it’s hard to see him go, but I just didn’t see him playing any part with the senior team for the rest of the season.




Incoming Loan (1/6/21) - Our last signing to this point is Shamari Adlam on loan. Omari Buck has been disappointing as Valbert Campbell’s replacement on the right and Buck became upset when I replaced him with 17-year old Levar McGlashan, so he was transfer listed. Wayne Lue will start on the right and in the middle, which means Adlam will see plenty of time on the pitch.

 

tbuc

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Entry 50 (January 25, 2021): Back in the Top Four!



We start the month off with a big win! Things started off slowly in the beginning as we gave up a poor goal in the 27th minute, after we left the Newell Utd striker unmarked in the box and an easy header from six yards out give the home side the lead. David Thompson answered less than a minute later and double his tally ten minutes after that before Odane Nish made it 3-1 as we headed into halftime. We did give one back in the 82nd minute to give me a real scare, but we were rewarded a PK in the dying seconds and we put the games away there. New signing, Wayne Lue was introduced into the starting 11 with Roni Francis out suspended, however, he left the match injured and will be out for two weeks.

We were away to top of the table Sporting Central to close out the month. A win would see us in the top four! After a pretty even 25 minutes, Sporting Central’s right back picked up a second yellow card and we were a man up for an hour and five minutes. We remained cautious to close out the first half, but turned up the pressure in the second 45. Chris Waugh broke the deadlock in the 59th minute and from there the floodgates opened. After coming off injured in his St. Bess debut, Wayne Lue was brought on in the 62nd minute and scored a banger from distance with his first touch. He doubled his tally in the 77th minute as well. Another January signing, Shamari Adlam also scored his first Killa Bees goal in the match. Good to see some of the new boys get on the score sheet.



Two wins from two sees us climb up the table and into the top four! There are only four games left in the season and only three points separate us from seventh, so anything can happen. We must focus on one match at a time. With that, we open February against eighth place Hillstars at home. This should be a fairly straightforward match for us as three points will be expected. The other match this month will be away to third place Rivoli. At this point, climbing past them in the table is out of the question, but with the table so tight, we’ll need a result to keep our playoff dreams alive.


 

tbuc

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Nov 17, 2017
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Entry 51 (February 2, 2021): Deadline Day



I’ve spent a lot more time this season in my office than I have over the past two years. We’ve struggled for the majority of this season. The board, players, fans and I all expect this club to be in the playoffs. We’re finally back in the top four and we must stay here. I’ve sat in this chair stressing on what tweeks I need to make, but the majority of the time I’ve been in my chair I’ve just been reflecting on my time as the manager. I told myself I wasn’t going to extend my contract unless we gain promotion and at this point I don’t see that happening.

This is most likely my final season here with St. Bess and at this point I’m ready for change. I do feel I will be letting a lot of people down when the news becomes public, but I brought this club from a team who were expected to be fighting to survive in the second tier, to a club who will be looking to reach the playoffs for the third straight season. There is definitely interest in my services as I was asked to attend an interview for the managerial role with National League side, Arnett Gardner. Do I want to stay in Jamaica? If I stay here will clubs abroad ever know my name?

Anyways, back to the club. As I’ve said, this season has been a bit disappointing. We’ve dealt with injuries and our key players are aging and their decline in ability on the pitch is showing. I will take some of the blame as well, since I have been in control of bringing in new players and agreeing to bring back a lot of those aging players. With two players upset about playing time and a handful of others wasting space on the bench, I did transfer list five guys from our roster. However, there was no interest in any of them. I did keep an ear to the ground to see if there were any players out there interested in joining our club who could improve our side. We did make one new signing…




Incoming (1/22/21) - Colorado Murray was stuck on the bench with National League side Wadadah and wanted first team minutes, even if that did meant dropping down a league. Chirs Waugh hasn’t been near the form he was in last season, and our third choice striker, Shaquel Bryan has been disappointing. To make matters worse, Byran went down with a training injury and will miss about a month. Murray is an upgrade and will put pressure on both struggling Chris Waugh and in from David Thompson.

 

tbuc

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Nov 17, 2017
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Entry 52 (February 25, 2021): We may need a miracle



We opened up the month with a match at home against a side we should be beating. We had plenty of chances throughout, but we're wasteful (18 shots, 4 on target). Eventually, in the 77th minute, our center back was dragged down in the box from a corner kick and Roni Francis stepped up and gave us a lead. David Thompson had a chance to put the match to bed in the 82nd minute after receiving a ball over the top, but he hit it right at the keeper. Our poor effort in front of net came back to haunt us as the away side bagged an equalizer in the 95th minute and now our chances of finishing in the top four just got a lot tougher.

We closed out February against third place Rivoli Utd. away from home. At this point I’m considering our final three matches a must win. The match itself was extremely boring as there were very few highlights. We set up cautious, but gave up a goal from a corner just six minutes in. I was hoping to make it to halftime just one goal down before turning up pressure, but Rivoli grabbed a second on the counter in the 45th minute. We came out attacking, but only managed one decent chance (one highlight), which saw us robbed by the bar. It’s looking like the final two games of the regular season could very well be my last in charge.




Three points separate us from fourth with two to play. Vere’s schedule sees them play two teams in the relegation zone, while we face first place Barbican before closing out the season to ninth place Naggo Head.

 

tbuc

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Entry 53 (March 21, 2021): The End is Here



This was it. Three points back with two to play. We’re up against top of the table Barbican who we drew 2-2 to earlier in the season. The away side came out on the front foot and Keith Hamilton did his best to keep the scoreline level. We were finally undone with a long ball over the top before the striker was dragged down in the box and it was 1-0 after 11 minutes. 26 minutes later Barbican doubled their tally and it was looking less and less likely that we would be coming out of the match with three points. Our vetran striker, Chris Waugh scored on a rebound in the 55th minute to give us some hope, but that was all we could muster.

I’m disappointed to go out without another playoff appearance, but I now know it’s time to look for a better job.

We headed into our last match of the season knowing we wouldn’t be in the playoffs. I just told the lads to go out there and have fun one last time until they started their summer break. This match is meaningless, but winning always feels good. We were the better side in the first half and were rewarded with an Odane Nish goal in the 34th minute. Things opened up in the second half and we blew the lead twice. Fortunately, it was our top striker on the year, David Thompson who bagged the winner in the 84th.



Well, I thought we were much better than what our record shows. It was our focus and ability to see out matches that cost us in the end. This was my last season as the head coach of the Killa Bees and I have no idea what my next job will be. I could end up anywhere in the world. I am under contract until June 30, so I’ll have two months to figure it out.


 

tbuc

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Nov 17, 2017
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Entry 54 (April 20, 2021): Review of the 2020/21 Season



After two seasons resulting in playoff appearances, this year was disappointing. Roni Francis had been our main man in midfield, but offered nothing going forward this term. Chris Waugh was the top striker in this league last year, but took a set back this season. The board expected us to reach the playoffs and get to the second round of the league cup. The club failed to achieve both those objectives. We failed to close out matches seeing us drop a handful of points late in matches, and we lacked a true number nine. I will give credit to David Thompson, however. I signed him last summer as one for the future. Instead, he turned into our top option up front early on in the season.



If you looked at the stats you’d think we had a pretty strong season, but injuries, lack of form in front of goal, and key errors late in matches saw this club drop a handful of points late in matches. David Thompson was key for us upfront this season. He was fighting it out with Shaquel Bryan in the preseason for an opportunity to start alongside Chris Waugh in front of goal. I would call him the player of the season. Odane Nish recorded nine assists for us this season and was key for us on the left side of the midfield. He was another outstanding performer this season as well.



The player of the season, the goal of the season, signing of the season, and young player of the season were all won by the same player. I would say the fans got it right as Thompson was crucial for us this season. Chris Waugh was disappointing and missed two months this season. Shaquel Bryan, who I thought was going to be a starter when we started preseason, was also extremely poor, scoring just once in nine appearances. By the end of the season he fell behind a U21 player and even forced us into signing another striker in January. I transfer listed him and we received no offers.

 

tbuc

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Nov 17, 2017
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Entry 55 (April 27, 2021): Where does my future lie?




Although it’s not official, my time at St. Bess is over. With the head coaching role open at National League side, Portmore United, and my name being tied to the job, I was super excited. My dream with to gain promotion with St. Bess, but it was clear after three seasons, it was going to take more time than I was willing to give. I’m still debating if I want to stay in Jamaica. If I do remain here it will be with a first division side.



Now it is official. I am unemployed and it’s time to weigh my options and find a gig with a club who are ambitions and want to make a real push at reaching the top tier of their nations football league. I never applied for the Portmore job as I wanted the leagues from around the world to finish, and more opportunities open up.


 

tbuc

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Nov 17, 2017
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Entry 56 (June 12, 2021): My First Interview






It’s been a month and a half and I finally applied for my first job. Well, two jobs. There have been a handful of opportunities in Jamaica, but I just ignored those and a few jobs in England. The jobs in England are in the Premier League and League One. I think at this point I’m not quite at that level, so I didn’t consider those either.

Two opportunities have opened up in Bluefin Sport PIL and I jumped on those. That is the third tier of Northern Irish Football, which is probably a spend down, but that means I’ll be in Europe and a step closer at landing a bigger job. No one in Europe knows who I am and an opportunity in Ireland may be where I need to start.



 
Jun 12, 2014
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Gutted you never managed to achieve the promotion with St.Bess however a trip to the Irish lower leagues would be interesting!
 
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