Tue | Jul 14, 2020

Stewart looks to toughen up Harbour View

Published:Sunday | November 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMNodley Wright - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Stephen Williams (left) from Waterhouse and Shai Smith from Portmore United in an aerial battle for the ball during their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday, November 10. The game ended 1-1.

Known for being a tough player in his days, Damion ‘Stew Peas’ Stewart will be aiming to put his stamp on the Harbour View team starting today, when his team takes on leaders Waterhouse in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).

The ‘Stars of the East’ go in to this game with a very poor defensive record, conceding 16 goals in their 11 games, joint worst with 10th-place Tivoli Gardens and 11th-place UWI FC. On Monday, they lost 0-3 to Arnett Gardens and lost 0-7 to Waterhouse in their first round encounter.

Based on that evidence, defensive work was needed and Stewart, a former Harbour View and Jamaica representative, who campaigned professionally in the UK and Asia, was brought in.

“For me, personally, no time is a bad time. I was sitting and waiting. It is a job I always wanted,” Stewart said of his appointment.

Having taken up the head coach post, Stewart cited defensive shape as one of the things that will have to fix.

“The team shape (defensively) is something that we have to fix and maintain. It is only four days since I took over and we didn’t get to do much based on the time,” he explained.

Even with the limited time, Stewart, who was a part of the Harbour View coaching staff last season, said the response has been good.

For their opponents, Waterhouse, the memories of their 7-0 win over their opponents in Week One are still fresh, but as far as coach Marcel Gayle is concerned, there will not necessarily be any carry-over.

“That 7-0 victory means nothing now. It is a new game so we have to leave that is the past,” said the man who led UWI FC to the RSPL and last season guided Waterhouse into the final.

“For this game, especially after the slow start against Portmore United where they came from behind to draw 1-1, they will have to start positively,” Gayle said.

“We just want to go out there from minute one and apply the pressure. Yes, they have a new coach, which will mean a new approach for them and we will take nothing for granted. We just have to focus on the things we have to do and get them done. All our players are training well and we are confident,” added Gayle.

Among the players who should be prominent for Waterhouse are the attacking trio of Stephen Williams, Colorado Murray and Kenroy Howell. The focused Tramaine Stewart and captain Keithy Simpson should also figure.

The rejuvenated Romario Campbell and the veteran Dicoy Williams should provide some leadership for the largely youthful Harbour View.

At Drax Hall, home team Mount Pleasant will be aiming to continue their climb up the table when they host Humble Lion who sit in fourth on 18 points, a place and a point below them, while ninth-place Dunbeholden will be banking on home advantage to aid them when they entertain bottom of the table Vere United.

At the Edward Seaga Complex, hosts Tivoli Gardens will be looking for a victory over defending champions Portmore United, whose eighth-place does not do justice to their quality. Molynes United have not won in five games and will be fancying their chances against 11th-place UWI FC.

Two points separate Arnett Gardens and Cavalier, but this evening’s late encounter is expected to be fiery. Cavalier will be looking to return to winning ways following their goalless draw with Vere United, while Arnett Gardens, following their 3-0 win over Harbour View, will be hungry for another win in the east.

Today’s Games

- 3 p.m. Molynes United FC vs UWI FC @ Constant Spring Stadium

- 3 p.m. Dunbeholden FC vs Vere United FC @ Royal Lakes Complex

- 3 p.m. Mount Pleasant FA vs Humble Lion FC @ Drax Hall Complex

- 3 p.m. Tivoli Gardens FC vs Portmore United FC @ Edward Seaga Complex

- 7 p.m. Waterhouse FC vs Harbour View FC @ Waterhouse Stadium

- 8 p.m. Cavalier FC vs Arnett Gardens FC @ Stadium East