Thu | Jul 7, 2022

Williams embraces challenge of leading youth revolution

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2022 | 12:12 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
Williams
Williams

WHILE HIS immediate concern will be their slim chances of a play-off place in the 2022 Jamaica Premier League season, new Portmore United head coach Philip Williams says he is eager to help guide the club in making youth development the forefront of their focus for the long term.

Willams stepped into the role last week Wednesday following the resignation of Lenworth Hyde for personal reasons.

His first game in charge was their 0-0 draw again Vere United on Monday, a result that sees the club in ninth place on 17 points with four-game remaining in the regular season.

It is the future that Williams is looking towards, both short and long term, with the club’s direction to youth development the attraction for him.

“What attracted me to the project was firstly the professional set-up of the club itself and how it is run and also in terms of the module that it is undertaking in terms of youth development. And that was another thing that attracted me to the job,” Williams told The Gleaner.

Williams resigned as Tivoli Gardens head coach in April after three years, helping the club to the play-offs last season with the help of young talent. It is that mindset that he hopes to continue with Portmore United while balancing the established winning culture of the club.

Long term, it’s about winning titles. But in terms of the youth set-up, it is to get them matriculated to be playing at a higher level whether they are making it into the national set-up or playing overseas,” Williams said.

“That is basically the aim and the objective. But if titles come our way in our preparation to get them to that level, we will accept them with open arms.”

While the gap between themselves and the last play-off spot is eight points, Williams has not given up the quest. Whatever the outcome of the next four games, starting on Monday against Montego Bay United, Williams says they want to establish a winning mentality within the team to get in the correct frame of mind for the future.

TRAIN TO WIN

“We train to win and we don’t have to wait until next season to want to get the feel of winning. We have four more games to play and we play to win them. And definitely use that momentum going into the season to come,” Williams said.

Although he is keen on advancing the club’s youth direction, Williams says that he is cognisant of the club’s history of league championships and believes that they have the foundation to reach the heights of previous winning campaigns.

“That is the ultimate aim for myself to continue the winning ways of the club. We have the talent, we have the experience there and we have the structure. We have the qualities to be a championship club and we will work hard to see how best we can produce the winning ways of seasons past,” Williams said.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com