Town dealt major injury blow ahead of season
Dandy Town have been dealt a significant blow ahead of the new Premier Division season with the loss of defender K’Wonde Lathan through serious injury.
The experienced defender broke both legs in a two-vehicle crash on Saturday that occurred in the vicinity of Bernard Park where Town thrashed PHC Zebras 7-0 the next day in the Dudley Eve Trophy.
“K’Wonde broke both of his legs and is recovering at King Edward Memorial Hospital,” Cal Blankendal, the Town assistant coach, said.
“The club wishes him all the best and will support him during his recovery.
“The team is also keeping him in their prayers and wanted to show him yesterday [Sunday]that they will do all they can throughout the season to make sure he’s part of a squad that’s on the up and winning.
“We look forward to him recovering quickly, first and foremost to be able to be mobile again as a human being in full capacity and then, of course, if he is possible to return to the field in any capacity that he wishes or can.
“He’s a part of the club as a stalwart and an influential member of the current team and generation, and we wish him all the best in his recovery and whatever we can do to support him we will.”
Lathan’s misfortune took some of the sparkle off Town’s emphatic win over PHC, which clinched their spot in the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-finals.
Devarr Boyles’s team are unbeaten in their first two outings this term, having also thrashed X-Roads Warriors 6-0 in their opening group match.
“The coach has been setting us up to where all we can do is defend and play,” said Kwame Steede, who led Town’s charge against PHC with a hat-trick coming off the bench in the second half.
“Once we defend and keep shutouts, the goals will come, so the coach is doing what he’s got to do. He’s always got some science up his sleeve.”
While he acknowledges that it is still early days, Boyles is encouraged by his team’s solid start which he owes to their superior fitness.
“These are pretty much pre-season games, really, and some of the teams are not as far in their preparation as we are,” he said.
“I think that’s what’s probably showing more than the scoreline.
“I think you can see some of these teams really need water breaks, where we are at the stage where we really don’t need them, so that’s the difference.”
Another thing working in Boyles’s favour is the depth he has at his disposal.
The former Town and Bermuda midfielder made eight changes to his starting line-up for Sunday’s cup clash, with captain Angelo Simmons, Seion Darrell, Michael Parsons, Eusebio Blankendal, Jahnazae Swan and Steede dropped to the bench.
Asked for the reason behind making the sweeping changes for the encounter, Boyles said; “They deserved it and we talked about it.
“We talked about having a bigger pool of players to make it more competitive.
“Luckily for us, I think some of the players who are playing for us, who were always at the club but not really committed, I think this year you see that.
“All the praise has to go to the players because they took it upon themselves to start training July, so the early effort you see.
“Now it’s just about moving them one yard this way or the other way as far as position in training.
“The base of the work was done last year and then they came back this year enthused about how the season ended, and they’ve made a commitment to themselves.”
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