Players jump ship as Blazers turn to trio to secure safety
A depleted Boulevard have turned to coaching trio Haille Outerbridge, Mark Jennings and Clive Taylor to secure their top-flight survival this season.
Former Blazers player Outerbridge will perform the head coach’s duties with ex-Hamilton Parish boss Jennings and Taylor working as his assistants.
Their remit is simple: protect Boulevard’s Premier Division status; a task made all the more onerous following the departures of several talented young players.
Midfield dynamo Jason Davies has returned to his boyhood club North Village, Damali Bell has hung his football boots to concentrate on his blossoming cricket career, while rookie defenders Aaron Nelson and Nelson Smith have joined Premier Division new-boys Robin Hood.
Also missing will be winger Angelo Simmons who has signed a short-term deal with English non-league side Carshalton Athletic.
Despite losing some of their key components, club president Lou Mathews remains unwavering in his belief that Boulevard will be more than competitive this campaign; an assertion based mainly on the players’ “never-say-die spirit”.
“Sure, we’ve lost some players,” said Matthews, “but one thing this club’s done for the last 37 years is survive; we’ll always have a never-say-die attitude, not just in the team but also the community.
“We’ll always be competitive and that’s never going to change; we’ll always give it a good go.”
Matthews said he had no hard feelings towards those players moving on to pastures new and praised Simmons for pursuing his professional dreams in the UK.
“We’ve lost Nelson Smith and Aaron Nelson to Robin Hood, Jason Davies to North Village and Damali Bell is concentrating on his cricket,” said Matthews, who was voted in for his second stint as Blazers President last November.
“But we’ve still got a strong nucleus of players such as Takeyhi Walker, Ajani Gibbons, Temiko Wilson and Robert Wilson. We’re happy for Angelo and I hope it works out for him because he’s really stuck at it.”
Rebuilding Blazers from the grass-roots level is top on Matthew’s agenda with the club preparing to breathe fresh life into their new youth programme shortly.
“This is a rebuilding phase for the club and we’re looking at putting some things in place to help us in the future,” he said. “Haille Outerbridge, Mark Jennings and Clive Taylor will be taking care of the team until we can find a long-term solution.
“We’re still struggling at building resources so we can benefit our team, but we’re coming along and we’re about to start pre-season training.
“We’re really focusing on rebuilding our youth programme and hope to make an announcement on that soon.”