Having coached Wolmer’s Boys standout midfielder Rojay Smith, during his two-year stint at the Heroes Circle-based school, Harbour View FC’s coach Ludlow Bernard remains impressed with the player’s easy transition into the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) set-up. Bernard coached Wolmer’s to the 2012-13 Walker Cup knock-out title and now backs Smith to be a regular Harbour View player. “The transition for him would have been quite significant. I remember in 2012 when he was playing in the Under 17 competition, you would have seen certain limitations, but having been exposed to quality football, both at Wolmer’s Boys and again playing at Harbour View against senior and experienced players, his improvement, I would say, has doubled if not tripled over time,” the Harbour View coach noted during yesterday’s RSPL press briefing held at the sponsor’s head office on Spanish Town Road. GAMES PLAYED Meanwhile, Smith has played a total of eight games so far this season for Harbour View and said he is eyeing a regular starting role “I am playing with more senior players now and I want to reach up to their level, so I have to lift my standard. “When I just started out I was on the bench. Now I am in the starting 11, so progress is there,” said the attacking midfielder. He stressed that the RSPL competition is much more physical than the Manning Cup but he intends to give his best for his team. “I would rank my transition at five out of 10 because there is always room for improvement. I just need to be more attacking and link up more with the forwards. We have a problem scoring goals, so we midfielders need to step up and start scoring more goals for the team,” he pointed out, adding that playing in the RSPL is something he always yearned for.
The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) has found itself in a bind as the role of the administrative director, Ian Andrews, particularly as it relates to signing powers, has not been restored – as mandated – by the board of directors, which is led by Don Anderson.As a result, staff and creditors of the government-run agency are being significantly impacted as health benefits and personal deductions for staff, which have been signed by Andrews, are not being co-signed by Anderson or any other board member.Also, some creditors who have rendered services in various sports development programmes carried out by the government organisation cannot be paid, as Anderson refuses to co-sign the cheques with the administrative director.And only last week, one creditor, Edward Cooke, filed for compensation by the agency through his lawyer, for monies ($619,000) owed by INSPORTS.The issue is long-running, since September last year when Andrews was sent on administrative leave and his signing powers revoked by the board, following appraisal by the Auditor General’s Department.The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), which mediates on behalf of government workers, intervened and cited discrepancies in the removal, noting that it was unconstitutional.It said the decision to send Andrews on administrative leave was not in line with public-sector leave protocol and instructed Andrews to remain in his job as the board acted irrational and without foundation.The JCSA also insisted that Andrews’ signing powers be restored and even warned against the current dilemma facing the Institute, as a result of the administrative director’s signing restrictions.”This goes against proper governance … and will impair the smooth running of operations,” a portion of the letter from the bargaining unit shared.Further, it said because the bank had already accepted on the board’s request to relieve Andrews of signing power, it called on Anderson to make the corrective changes with the bank to restore such privileges.Since then, the Ministry of Finance and the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister have instructed Anderson to restore the signing powers of the administrative director. However, he has refused.The request was first made at a meeting between representatives of government ministries, the INSPORTS board and Andrews.In a letter to Anderson dated November 9, 2015, Alison McLean, chief technical director, Ministry of Finance, called for the expedition of the removal of the administrative leave and that “any consequential arrangements that were predicated on that instruction be rescinded from the date of the correspondence as agreed in the October 6, 2015 meeting”.A second letter to Anderson, dated November 18, 2015, from Elaine Foster-Allen, permanent secretary attached to the OPM, instructed: “Following our conversation this morning (Foster-Allen-Anderson), I write to confirm that the directives issued in relation to the administrative leave of administrative director Ian Andrews, which has been withdrawn, also indicated that his authority to sign on behalf of the Institute of Sports has been restored.”Please be kind enough to indicate that this has been done.”When The Gleaner asked Anderson about his refusal to follow the directives, he gave no clear answer.”That is a redundant question (why Andrews’ signing power is not restored). When you spoke to me last week I told you exactly what the position was … The thing about it is that I have answered this question already, unless you are trying to stoke up something else,” he said.”Talk to me in a few days time and all will be clear, hopefully. But I have to be sensible about my response, so later on we will talk,” he promised.
DELHI, India (CMC):All-rounder Dwayne Bravo has spoken out in support of West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy, who faces possible disciplinary action for publicly criticising the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after the regional team won the T20 World Cup in India on Sunday.Bravo says he and the rest of the champion West Indies T20 side are in full support of Sammy, who hit out at the WICB for its lack of support to the players.”The most unprofessional board”In an exclusive Skype interview from India with Trinidad and Tobago’s CNC3 television yesterday, Bravo described the WICB as “the most unprofessional board” in the world.”The players feel hurt, and the time has come where we cannot take it anymore, and someone needs to put a stop to it because the cricket is being run by people who do not have the interest of West Indies cricket at heart,” Bravo said.Sammy faces possible disciplinary action after a statement from the WICB described his comments as “inappropriate” and promised an investigation.”I was not surprised by Sammy’s speech. I think we had enough as players. A lot of people don’t understand what we go through as players dealing with our board,” said Bravo.”It is the most unprofessional board in the world, and I think Sammy spoke from his heart.”