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Boulevard keen to consign troubled campaign to history

Boulevard’s Takeyhi Walker, left, and Kamali Davis, right, close in on Hamilton Parish’s Jordan Outerbridge (File photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Boulevard Blazers manager Troy Smith is confident his club is capable of making a swift return to the Premier Division next season.

The Pembroke club were relegated with a match left to play of the 2022-23 league campaign along with Robin Hood, but Smith is looking forward with plenty of optimism as his club seek to regain their top-flight status at the earliest opportunity.

“I think we will be back next year,” he told The Royal Gazette.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes at Boulevard. We are going to release at least seven players and with the crew that we have and the heart the players have, we will be back.”

Boulevard struggled throughout a campaign in which they dispensed with the services of coach Jomar Wilkinson in January after just seven months in the job. He was sacked just days after Blazers were beaten 4-2 by Corona League side Young Gunz in the FA Cup first round.

Smith believes that while that move was the right one, the club may have avoided relegation had they hastened Wilkinson’s departure.

“I just wish our committee would have made their decision earlier considering Jomar Wilkinson,” he said. “If we had made that decision early, we would not be in the position we are today.”

Boulevard finished five points shy of safety and with an inferior goal difference to Hamilton Parish and Somerset Trojans, the two teams above them, who ended the campaign level on seventeen points.

Apart from heavy defeats against champions PHC Zebras, in the final game of the season, and runners-up Devonshire Cougars, Boulevard held their own but still came up short, especially during the first half of the season.

“You could see in the last few games that we had that we are better than how we did,” Smith said. “We lost too many points early in the season when we were in the game, and that’s what hurt us the most.”

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Published March 23, 2023 at 1:16 pm (Updated March 23, 2023 at 1:31 pm)

Boulevard keen to consign troubled campaign to history

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