Full con­fi­dence in Bernard

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS - AKINO MING Staff Re­porter

Up un­til Nathan Thomas scored Kingston Col­lege’s (KC) win­ning goal in added time in the ISSA/Dig­i­cel Man­ning Cup fi­nal last Fri­day, it was widely be­lieved that his coach Lud­low Bernard’s job was on the line. Thomas’ strike se­cured a mem­o­rable 3-2 win over ri­vals St Ge­orge’s Col­lege and ended KC’s 32-year wait for the Man­ning Cup ti­tle. Bernard, a KC old boy, took over the Man­ning Cup pro­gramme of the ‘Pur­ples’ three sea­sons ago and led them to the semi-fi­nals on all three oc­ca­sions. Still, many ob­servers and crit­ics felt that this rep­re­sented an un­der­achieve­ment, given the qual­ity of the squads at his dis­posal, and raised ques­tions about his job safety in the event the ti­tle wasn’t de­liv­ered this sea­son. How­ever, KC prin­ci­pal Dave Myrie was quick to un­der­line his con­fi­dence in the tac­ti­cian, who was win­ning his first Man­ning cup ti­tle.

“Those who were talk­ing about fir­ing weren’t in­volved in hir­ing Lud­low Bernard. I was, so they can’t be in­volved in fir­ing Bernard and the panel that in­ter­viewed him and had him there, we have never said any­thing about get­ting rid of him,” Myrie said dur­ing the school’s cel­e­bra­tions on Mon­day.

AP­PRO­PRI­ATE FOR KC

“I am the prin­ci­pal of KC, and no­body can’t push me to make de­ci­sions that I don’t want to make. I re­port to a board of man­age­ment, and so it doesn’t mat­ter what is said out­side. I will make the de­ci­sion I think is ap­pro­pri­ate for KC.”

Bernard, de­spite win­ning two Walker Cup ti­tles at Wolmer’s and an­other at KC, in ad­di­tion to last year’s Cham­pi­ons Cup suc­cess, has never quite re­ceived the wide­spread re­spect given to some of his peers.

With for­mer Ja­maica Col­lege coach Miguel Co­ley get­ting the bet­ter of the KC man in 2016 and 2017 and many ex­pect­ing St Ge­orge’s coach Neville Bell to out­wit him last Fri­day, Bernard, for his part, was quick to un­der­line his record against the pair of five-time Man­ning Cup-win­ning coaches.

“Re­spect to Miguel Co­ley, but it’s 3-2 in my favour. Re­spect to Neville Bell, but it’s 7-4 in my favour. I say no more,” said Bernard in ref­er­ence to his head-to-head record against the two highly re­spected coaches.

Bernard

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