Can’t keep a good man down
Peart’s redemption with Glenmuir good for the neutrals
SCHOOLBOY FOOTBALL’S neutrals are probably delighted at the 2023 form of Glenmuir High School. Last year, after a fine start to the season, Glenmuir won the Ben Francis Trophy, a consolation tournament for those schools who depart the daCosta Cup early. That victory has proven to be a stepping stone to greater glory.
Building on that consolation, Glenmuir have already won this year’s Champions Cup, the trophy that has supplanted the Olivier Shield as the true measure of all-island schoolboy football supremacy.
The smiles from the neutrals shine on Glenmuir coach Andrew Peart. Five years ago, when wonderfully successful coach Miguel Coley departed Jamaica College (JC) for the Middle East, Peart led JC to the 2018 ISSA-Digicel Manning Cup semi-final and the ISSA Champions Cup final in his first year as head football coach.
Those reversals were authored by two veteran head coaches: Neville Bell of St George’s College in the Manning Cup semi-final and Dr Dean Weatherly of Cornwall College in the Champions Cup final.
That would be a fine start to the tenure of a first-year head coach at most schools. At Jamaica College, it came after five years of unparalleled success. When JC won the Olivier Shield in 2017, it broke a tie with Vere Technical, whose dream teams of the late 1960s won the Shield, the former symbol of schoolboy football supremacy, four times straight.
There may have been other issues and there was talk of Peart’s other coaching commitments being an issue. Long and short of it, he didn’t return to the JC coaching seat. There’s no way to know for sure, but with 2018 as a learning experience, Peart may have coached the Blue to more success.
In the meantime, with Davian Ferguson installed as head coach, the 189 Old Hope Roaders have won the Manning Cup twice, in 2019 and 2022, and the Champions Cup in 2022.
Nevertheless, Peart’s coaching acumen has risen to the fore in May Pen. Glenmuir beat 10-man Clarendon College 3-2 to win the Champions Cup last week. Clarendon went down to 10 men when the score was 1-1, but Glenmuir went on to make history with its first hold on this cup.
Glenmuir have more silverware in its sights. Dinthill High were defeated in the daCosta semis, and Lenworth Hyde’s Clarendon College lies in waiting.
In sport, as in life, there are no guarantees.
However, if Glenmuir wins the daCosta Cup final, it will add to what has already been a redemption season for Peart.
The neutrals are smiling.
Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.