‘I never thought I’d leave St George’s’
Macai Simmons insists he has no hard feelings towards St George's after his surprise late transfer to neighbours St David's last week.
Simmons, who has captained the St George's Cup Match team for the past two years, broke his silence yesterday, saying he did not feel he had the backing of coach Wendell Smith for the captaincy. He trained with St George's as late as last Thursday before deciding the next day to move to St David's.
“There was a lack of communication between the coach and me,” said Simmons, who is set to face his former team in a rescheduled Premier Division match on Saturday.
“He didn't reach out to me and I didn't reach out to him, so I just left because I felt it was my best option.
“I felt he was trying to pick a new Cup Match captain without talking to me to see where my head was. I love St George's, but feel it's unfortunate that I had to leave.”
Smith, when contacted last night by The Royal Gazette, refused to pour fuel on the fire.
He said: “I was extremely pleased with his commitment, work ethic and progress during pre-season.”
Simmons's decision to leave St George's almost certainly means that he has given up the Cup Match captaincy, however, he has vowed to battle hard to retain his place in the team.
“It was kind of last minute, made off emotions more than anything else,” he said of the decision to leave his boyhood club.
“There are definitely no hard feelings towards the club; I'll come home in the future because that is where I'm from.
“I even coach the under-11 team, so I'm in the club all year round. I always want to see St George's win.”
Simmons trained with St David's on a few occasions leading up to the start of the season, but always had intentions of staying with St George's.
“I was training with them every Tuesday, to get extra training and to get into a groove,” said Simmons, who plays for St David's in the Eastern Counties. “At this point, I wasn't even thinking about playing for St David's; I never thought I would leave St George's.
“After training [with St George's] on Thursday I had a meeting with the youngsters and told them they had to step up and be accountable because I had a lack of senior players and they were needed. I'm focused on developing my community, the youth coming after me.”
Simmons had an eight-ball duck on his St David's debut against Bailey's Bay on Sunday, bowled by Nyhrobi Carmichael after coming in at No 4. St David's lost by one wicket.
“I have to make the best of where I am now, make some runs because I have to prove myself that much more,” Simmons said. “I have to work ten times harder. I have to step my game up to another level to even be looked at, because of the move I made. Some people might hold a grudge, but I'm a St George's diehard regardless.
“I did have St George's on my mind while playing. I've never even played against St George's before, so that will definitely be new to me.”