Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

The Jamaica Football Federation is mourning the death of Maurice ‘Danny’ Lyn, the owner and former coach of Constant Spring FC, who died today after a battle with cancer at the age of 72.

For more than three decades Lyn was a major player in the Jamaican football community. He was born in Hong Kong before his family migrated to Jamaica coached Constant Spring to several Major League in the 1987/’88, ‘90/91 and ‘92/’93 seasons. Constant Spring won a fourth title during the 2017/’18 season. The team also won the inaugural Jackie Bell Knockout competition in the 1987/88 season.

Lyn also led the club to its only Premier League final during the 1994/’95 season where they lost 1-0 to Reno in the final. Constant Spring also won the only edition of the National ‘A’ League in 1999/2000.

In 2011, Lyn was awarded the Abe Alexander Award from the Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) for outstanding contribution to local football.

The JFF said Lyn was committed to local football.

“Danny Lyn, as he was widely known, gave his heart and his life to the sport he loved. He was active in every area of the sport, although coaching and mentoring were his passion,” said the JFF in a statement today.

“Danny contributed to the success and livelihood of countless youngsters over many years. The Constant Spring Football Club and the Constant Spring Football Field stand as monuments to his support of the beautiful game.

“His close association with JFF affiliates the Kingston and St. Andrew Football Association and the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association kept football alive and kicking day and night. We are forever indebted to him.

“The JFF through President Mr Michael Ricketts conveys sincerest condolences to his family; close friends and the KSAFA family.”

News of Lyn’s death drew reaction from several members of the coaching fraternity.

Among them, was Andrew Price, who coaches the Humble Lion Football Club in Jamaica’s Premier League. As a student, Price played for St George’s College, which was also Lyn’s alma mater.

“His contribution to the development of football in Jamaica cannot be quantified. We have lost a sterling contributor to football in this country,” said Price, who is also a member of the history-making Reggae Girlz coaching staff. “A man who changed many lives. Walk good Knight. We are much the richer to have shared your life with us. RIP Danny Lyn.”

National U23 Coach Donovan Duckie was also devastated by the news.

“As a boy, I had such passion for coaching, so I would always take the bus to see Constant Spring FC play in the National Premier League.  I never missed a word you spoke at half-time. Sleep well coach. My heart is saddened,” Duckie said in a post on Facebook.

Harbour View Football Club, in a statement on their Facebook page, shed some light on Lyn’s role in the formation of Jamaica’s Premier League.

“Condolences on the passing of our good friend, football stalwart and Constant Spring FC co-owner Maurice 'Danny' Lyn. We lose yet another 'Father-Figure' of the local game, who gave his all to grow the game through his club, KSAFA with the JFF,” said the statement.

 “In 1998, Danny helped to host the first real meeting of the newly envisioned Premier League Clubs, at "The Fish Place" across the road from his CSFC then the restaurant of Vin Blaine.

 Montego Bay duo of Seba United's Bruce Gaynor and Wadadah FC's benefactor, Gene Gray, (now deceased) travelled into Kingston to meet with Carvel Stewart (HVFC), Bradley Stewart (Hazard Utd), Dennis Gordon (White Horses FC), and Dawn Spence-Heron (Tivoli Gardens FC).

Rest in Peace Danny, your deeds were well planted for growth.”

 

The West Indies suffered a humiliating six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in the first of three ODI’s today, going down by six wickets with 97 balls to spare in the match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

Dominican cricketer Tyrone Theophile is reportedly back home in Dominica following recent emergency surgery in Martinique.

Kieron Pollard will lead a powerful TT Red Force squad when the CG Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off in Antigua and Barbuda from February 7-27.

Pollard heads a seasoned squad of players that include the likes of Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons and the hard-hitting Nicholas Pooran. Darren Bravo, who will form part of the strong squad will also serve as vice-captain for the team that were semi-finalists last time out.

The T&T selectors have also picked the experienced Jason Mohammed, who is on West Indies duty in Bangladesh as well as former West Indies representatives Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin and Ravi Rampaul.

Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, opener Kjorn Ottley, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seales are also in line to represent the team from the twin-island republic that on paper should start as favourites to win the shortened version of the competition in 2021.

The full squad reads: Kieron Pollard (captain), Darren Bravo (vice-captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales, Kjorn Ottley, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre.

A plan in the offseason to get stronger and faster and a healthy dose of self-belief are the foundation to Carrie Russell’s win in the Women’s Monobob Bobsleigh World Series event in Park City, Utah on Sunday.

Russell, 30, a 100m gold medalist at the World University Games in 2011 and 2013 World Championship 4x100m relay champion, produced a combined time of 1:49.08 to defeat American Nicole Vogt (1:49.27) and Brazil’s Marina Silva (1:49.83), who took silver and bronze, respectively.

She said a lot of hard work went into making her season debut a success.

“Well, I created a plan which involved doing some track training at the MVP track club with Coach Stephen Francis and my push coach Wayne Thomas, to ensure my speed and strength are up, and its working,” Russell told Sportsmax.TV shortly after clearing doping control Sunday night.

On her first run on Saturday, Russell attained a top speed of 120.47km/h over the 1.335m course, which saw her post a time of 54.95s. However, on Sunday, she managed to improve her speed to 121.45, which meant an improvement of 0.82s on the time she produced on Saturday.

She explained that it simply came down to using her natural talents to get a better start. On Sunday, she was only 0.03s better than the 5.79s she managed the day before but it translated into a massive difference. On Saturday she was at the first interval in 21.60s. On Sunday, she was 0.11 quicker at 21.49 and let to the massive improvement in time over the course.

“Well, its reviewing the videos and seeing the progress,” she explained.

“And then I got more comfortable trying new stuff. Audra Segree (compatriot bobsledder) and I sat and talked with Coach Wayne about the start. He explained that in order to be ahead and have room to make mistakes you have to get ahead from the beginning which means I need to start fast.

“I understood, so I told myself that I have to run deeper and I know the faster the sleigh is the easier it is to drive. So, I told myself that I am the fastest out there, stronger, and that’s what matters. It’s all in God’s hands after that.”

Russell has three two-woman races coming up from January 21-23 but she is still unsure who will be racing with her.

 

Jamaica’s Carrie Russell won the Women’s Monobob World Series Bobsleigh event in Park City Utah today.

 Russell, the 30-year-old former sprinter, finished third on Saturday after completing the 1.335km track in 54.95s. She was 0.39s behind leader Nicole Vogt of the United States.

 However, she rebounded today producing a 54.13s run for a combined time of 1:49.08 to take the gold medal and relegating Vogt to second. Vogt had a combined time of 1:49.27.

The victory today was due largely to better execution wherein Russell attained a top speed of 121.45 km/h, an improvement on the 120.47km/h achieved on Saturday. Vogt attained a top speed of 122km/h on Saturday but was much slower today at 120.78 km/h.

The bronze medal went to Marina Silva of Brazil whose combined time was 1:49.83. Silva finished second on Saturday.

Russell has been in Utah since New Year’s Day for the start of the season. She will compete in a two-woman event in the coming week before the competition moves to Lake Placid.

 

Darren Sammy is looking to enjoy the sweet smell of success in the near future following the signing of a new licensing agreement with Asgharali, a Bahrain-based fragrance company that has been in operation for more than 100 years.

Steven Gardiner and Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas had podium finishes at the UAB Blazer Invite in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday.

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

  1. Windies men- Nothing to lose so much to gain!

It is no secret that as the West Indies get set to face Bangladesh on January 20, in their first One-Day International, the home side is the overwhelming favourite, especially because of their track record of winning at home. The Windies enter against a backdrop comprising of several senior players opting out, Hayden Walsh Jr getting Covid-19 mere days before the first ODI, eight players making their ODI debut and the captain, Jason Mohammed, who last played for the Windies in 2018. Despite all these factors, they walk into this series with nothing to lose and so much to gain.

It is easy to point out the lack of experience in the Windies team. Simply put, as I mentioned before, eight of the players suiting up will be making their debuts. In the ODI setup, Rovman Powell is the most experienced having played 34 matches with the skipper Jason Mohammed ranked second with 28. While this is enough to say the Windies team is inexperienced we must also note that Bangladesh also has three uncapped players - off-spinner Mahadi Hasan and pacers Shorful Islam and Hasan Mahmud.

Similarly, it is natural to feel uneasy that ODI skipper Jason Mohammed has been out of Windies cricket since 2018. However, we cannot forget that Mohammed previously captained the Windies in an ODI against England in 2017 and in three T20Is during their 2018 Pakistan tour.

It was during a similar situation when key players refused to play and CWI thrust Mohammed to the helm.

All things considered, it is not always a disadvantage to be the underdogs if the team is physically and mentally ready. In World-Cup-winning captain Clive Lloyd’s open letter to the team, he highlighted that he made his debut on short notice against India 1966. He got his call up just hours before the game and went on to score 82 and 78. 

And, in that is the bigger picture. A ticket to the World Cup awaits any player who seizes this moment. Wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva impressed on his Test debut in New Zealand where he scored an impressive half-century.

Batsman Kjorn Ottley is another player who could force his way into the first team. In 2019, he played for Barbados in the 50-over competition and scored 325 runs in the nine innings at an average of 54.16.  All-rounder Akeal Hosein will be eager to transfer his CPL form into this format of the game.

The 27-year-old was the leading wicket-taker in T&T’s 2020 first-class season with a total of 36 wickets at an average of 20.61. 

 

  1. Brooklyn Nets Success: One Word- Sacrifice.

News of James Harden leaving the Houston Rockets and joining the Brooklyn Nets did not sit very well with me as a Rockets supporter. It took me a few days to process his exit. However, as Harden’s biggest supporter and critic I understand the reason for the move. The three-time NBA scoring champion is desperate to win a Championship and he is not getting younger. However, if the Nets are to be successful it comes down to a key factor - sacrifice.

 The “Big Three” of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant can only work well if they share the ball. Over the last 10 seasons, all three players have ranked in the top 10 in the highest usage rate in clutch time. Harden described it best while addressing the media. 

“When it comes to facilitating it depends on the flow of the game. Some nights I’ll be a facilitator. Some nights I might get it going and score the ball at a high clip. That is the beauty of being versatile and being able to do more than one thing. Same with Kevin and same with Kyrie. Every night is going to be different.”

 Each of the three players will be required to sacrifice whatever is going on behind the scenes of their lives if they are to win a championship. Irving was fined USD$50,000 for breaching the NBA Covid-19 protocols after a video surfaced on social media that showed him at a birthday party with no mask.

He also made an appearance at a Zoom fundraiser for a progressive political candidate half-hour before the tipoff of a Nets game.  He needs to show up mentally and physically.  Harden is out of shape and will have to avoid getting into Covid-19 trouble again. Additionally, it will be in the team’s best interest if KD stays injury free and avoids getting the virus again.

 In order for the Nets to get the best of the Harden trade all egos have to be put aside and the players need to allow rookie head coach Steve Nash and assistant coach Michael  D'Antoni to do their jobs without interference.

A positive to draw from this is Harden has worked well with D’Antoni at the Rockets and even cited his move had a lot to do with the influence of the assistant coach.

Kevin Durant, without a doubt, is a selfless player. He sacrificed his Achilles when he returned to the 2019 NBA finals too soon.  His value to the team goes without saying, however, a key element of the Nets success this season will be his acceptance of the leadership role. 

The Brooklyn Nets are championship contenders for 2021. The big question is then “Who is selfless enough to step back?” 

  

  1. Widespread vaccination and speedy rollout can ensure the Tokyo Olympics proceed.

Japanese government officials say they are committed to hosting the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo despite a recent rise in Covid-19 cases.  Reports indicate that the international Olympic Committee is working on ways to ensure that athletes are vaccinated so the event can proceed safely in July.

As of Friday, 15 January, Tokyo confirmed 2001 new infections. The number of new infections and the shortage of hospital beds are making it difficult to hospitalize coronavirus patients.  Deputy head of the Tokyo Medical Association Masataka Inakuchi has warned that the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients could rise to approximately 4600 in a week and 7000 in two weeks.

One can only hope that there will be widespread vaccination rollouts and speedy distribution in Tokyo so the Olympic Games can proceed without any further delay. 

 

 

Emerging sprinter Kiara Grant of Norfolk State University and Ackera Nugent of Baylor were among several Jamaicans who produced top NCAA performances between Friday and Saturday as the collegiate indoor circuit unfolded in earnest in the United States.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says her ministry will be moving to finalize the transformation and streamlining of the national sports entities during this calendar year.

The national sports entities are the Sports Development Foundation, Independence Park Limited, and the Institute of Sports.

Minister Grange gave the update during a meeting of the Board of Directors of Independence Park Limited on Wednesday. She said the transformation was aimed at creating a more efficient and more effective government sport system.

Minister Grange urged the new board to pick up the pace of project implementation.  She said it was vital that the National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium infrastructure development project, which was affected by delays caused by covid-19 and weather conditions, get back on track as soon as possible.

The proposal for the Redevelopment and Upgrading of the National Stadium and Trelawny Stadium is going through all the required stages of the Public Investment Management Secretariat, including submission of a comprehensive project proposal, architectural drawings and the development of a 5-year Business Plan.

The project is now at the final stage which includes submitting financial projections before it can be recommended to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for funding.

The members of the Board of Independence Park Limited are: Dr. the Honourable Michael Fennell (Chairman), Mr David Shirley (Deputy Chairman), Mrs Annmarie Heron, Assistant Commissioner Terrence Bent, Lieutenant Colonel Dameon Creary, Mr Lenford Salmon, Mr Carlton Dennis, Ms Audrey Chin, Mr Edward Barnes, Dr Peter Charles, Ms Shaneek Clacken, Ms Stefani Dewar, Major Desmon Brown, General Manager (ex officio)

The members have been appointed to serve for two years.  The new board was constituted in keeping with the National Policy for Gender Equality to ensure that a minimum of 30 per cent of either sex makes up the composition of government boards.

 

After a long string of low scores, Andre Fletcher finally came good with a man-of-the-match performance that saw the Melbourne Stars score a massive 111-run victory over the Adelaide Strikers in Melbourne on Thursday.

Reggae Girlz goalkeeper Sydney Schneider says she feels blessed to have made history once again and is eager to begin training with the Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Reggae Girlz custodian Sydney Schneider created history on Wednesday when she became the first player from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to be selected in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

Reggae Boyz forward Junior Flemmings has signed a one-year deal with Birmingham Legion FC in the United Soccer League in the United States.

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