New chapter: Simmonds highlights ambitious plans for upcoming JPL season as Dunbeholden FC parts ways with “Teacha” Hyde Featured

Dunbeholden's general manager Roger Simmonds (left) and coach Lenworth "Teacha" Hyde. Dunbeholden's general manager Roger Simmonds (left) and coach Lenworth "Teacha" Hyde.

With a new head coach on the horizon and a commitment to excellence, Roger Simmonds, general manager of Dunbeholden FC says the club is embracing a new era that is focused on strategic growth and, by extension, becoming perennial title contenders in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL).

In fact, it is the implementation of that for propelling the club to new heights, and Lenworth “Teacha” Hyde’s ability –or lack thereof –to align with the movement that Simmonds said resulted in the club parting ways with the coach on Wednesday, ahead of preseason preparation for the upcoming 2024-25 JPL season.

Hyde, who took the reins from Harold Thomas for the 2023-24 campaign, guided the St Catherine-based club to an eighth-place finish on 37 points, having won 10 of their 26 games, while losing nine and drawing seven.

"The club's management was always in dialogue with Mr. Hyde and the coaching Staff from the beginning of last season and throughout the season, as we sought to align our vision and philosophy while maintaining a high level of performance on and off the field,” Simmonds shared.

Dunbeholden FC in Concacaf Caribbean Cup action.

“Despite the on-field failures (8th place), we nevertheless tried to persevere, but there are difficulties with the alignment of our vision off the field and consequently we felt it was best for both parties to separate amicably before the start of the 2024/25 JPL Season. We have already identified his successor, and the club will make an announcement in another week or so,” he told SportsMax.TV.

Despite Hyde’s departure, Simmonds is optimistic about the future, and is eager to build on the foundation that was established two years ago when Dunbeholden contested its first ever JPL final since earning promotion at the start of the 2018-19 season.

It was on the back of that runner-up finish that Dunbeholden also made an historic appearance in the 2023 Concacaf Caribbean Cup, where they ended with four points from four games.

“We had some positives to celebrate such as the development and emergence of young players, as well as the continued strengthening of the club's structure. Despite numerous player and coaches’ movements (out), we were still competitive in all games throughout the season, which underscored the resilience of the club,” Simmonds stated.

“However, not making the JPL Playoffs after being a finalist the previous season, and not reaching the second round of the Concacaf Club Championships were major low points for us. As a result of the above and other reasons, we are cognisant of the fact that we have to be intentional about where we are going, how we should get there, and the team –management and players –that can get us there in our stated timelines,” he added.

Dunbeholden FC in JPL action against Mount Pleasant.

On that note, Simmonds stressed the need to enhance the club's performance and competitiveness in the JPL. Central to this strategy is the recruitment of a new head coach who aligns with the club’s ambitions and philosophy.

“The mandate for the club, management, technical staff, and players is that it cannot be business as usual. Operating a Football Club is an expensive venture and therefore a reasonable return on investment would be at least to be able to participate in the playoffs with the intention of securing Concacaf Football. With that said, we are in the process of re-energizing the team through employment of personnel, both on and off the field, for the new JPL season and in due course the information will be made available to the public,” he declared.

Having lost a number of players such as Demario Phillips, Atapharoy Bygrave, and others to Mount Pleasant FA, along with talismanic midfielder Nickoy Christian to Waterhouse, Simmonds, gave the impression that the club has not ruled out the possibility of bringing those players back in to strengthen the squad.

“We would have lost not just players, but coaches too which says we are doing something right. But, no final decision has been made as yet regarding any of those players,” he shared.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.