Town rejoice in era of dominance
Jomar Wilkinson, the Dandy Town Hornets coach, hailed the club’s “one heartbeat” after they claimed their fourth Premier Division title in seven years.
Requiring only a point to win the league with two games spare after Robin Hood’s 2-2 draw at home to Boulevard on Saturday, Town could perhaps be forgiven for delivering a less than vintage performance against defending champions Somerset Trojans at St John’s Field yesterday.
It took the home side until the 73rd minute to break the deadlock, with Damon Ming, the experienced midfielder, firing a left-foot strike past Shaquille Bean, the Trojans goalkeeper.
Neither side had shown much in the way of attacking threat until that point, with Wilkinson, whose players dumped a bucket of ice water over his head to celebrate their triumph, admitting he had to give his team a stern talking to during the half-time interval.
It was not long, however, before Hornets doubled their lead with the lively Tomiko Goater finishing from close range in the 85th minute after good work by Angelo Simmons, the Hornets captain.
Town also wrapped up their previous title in 2014 by beating the defending champions, thrashing Devonshire Cougars 7-2 at Goose Gosling Field, before going on to win the league and FA Double which they also achieved in 2012.
Wilkinson, who has overseen the most dominate period in the club’s history, said he has no interest in counting the titles he has won during his six years at the helm.
He did, however, admit that his team had some unfinished business this season, with the FA Cup firmly in their sights. Hornets will take on PHC Zebras in the semi-final at Police Field on April 10.
“I actually don’t keep count of the number of titles I’ve won,” said Wilkinson, who celebrated his third title as Town coach.
“I’ll count then when I’ve finished. I’m just trying to stay humble and keep the boys humble because I know we can achieve more.
“Our next task is the FA Cup — that’s what we’re concentrating on now.
“We made a conscious effort to get off to a good start so not repeat last season when we didn’t win a game in the first five matches,”
“We’ve been pretty steady this season and got off to a wonderful start and have never looked back.”
Wilkinson said his team’s unyielding backline had been the secret to their success this season, with Hornets scoring more and conceding fewer than any other side during the Premier League season.
“Defence has been the key for us,” he said.
“We understand that defence wins championships and that’s our motto at Dandy Town.
“We had to be better defensively this season and we’ve done exactly that — that’s why we’ve won the league title this season.”
Aside from Ming, who at 37 is by far the oldest player in the Hornets squad, Wilkinson’s side is one of the youngest on the island, with the club’s former midfielder hoping to keep the present squad together for many years to come.
“It’s very encouraging to have such a young team,” he said. “If we can keep the group together I believe we can achieve plenty more.
“We definitely haven’t reached our limit and these players can play a lot better.
“We’re hoping to keep the group together and grow together as a team.”
Hornets’ poor start to last season when they finished runners-up was because of motivational issues, according to Wilkinson, who admits his biggest challenge will be keeping his players hungry.
“I keep reminding the players that time runs out,” he said. “They’re young but they have to take their moment while they can.
“I’m hoping they grasp that and stay humble and continue to grow as players and people.
“The whole organisation including the executive, backroom staff, medic, equipment manager, assistant coach and supporters have one heartbeat and we all push for each other.
“I think that’s also a big component to our success and we’re very thankful for that. The fans have definitely been our twelfth man this season and they keep pushing us.
“Hopefully next season we can be part of the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship and we will look to represent Bermuda the best way possible.”
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