Patience pays off for LayneAkademiks players and supporters celebrating their triumph. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
By Ezra Stuart | Sun, December 02, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Patience is a virtue and it paid off for winning coach Kenville “Kab” Layne on Friday, Independence Day, when Academiks prevailed 1-0 over Phoenix UFO Toyota Fire House in the LIME Pelican Football Challenge final at Kensington Oval.
“I feel very good. The guys stuck to the game plan which was to sit back and be patient because I was thinking all along that the opponents have tired legs with guys that are aging, and we would come up with something at the end,” Layne said amid unbridled celebrations by the Akademiks players and fans.
Layne, coach of the Barbados Under-17 team, who has also coached the senior and other age group national teams as well as Premier League side Paradise, lauded the entire Akademiks outfit for their dedication and discipline.
“It was total commitment to the cause from the start of training until now. They played not for Akademiks but they played for Team Akademiks,” he said.
“But I really thought it was a good fight from Fire House.”
Layne, a football coach with the National Sports Council, reckoned the turning point came when the experienced Paul Lovell, the tournament’s leading goal scorer with eight goals, missed a clear-cut chance in the 85th minute.
“To be honest, when Paul hit the upright, I told the boys on the bench, the Father is on our side. We always score goals at the Malcolm Marshall End and it will come in a couple of minutes and so said, so done,” Layne noted.
Layne, who received his coaching training in Hungary, said that throughout the match he was trying “to confuse the opponents and outfox” his opposite number, Eric “O’Malley” Alleyne, by switching around his strikers Mario Harte, who scored the game winner in the 89th minute, and Arantees Lawrence.
“That was the aim. Don’t let them stay one place, keep them moving, one fall wide, one come in the middle. I also did it also with [Damien] Welch. I kept switching him but then he got injured,” Layne said.
But it was a blessing in disguise, as it was substitute Nicholas Best who played the ball into the penalty box for Harte to hit home a left-foot shot, past Fire House’s goalkeeper Saheka “Rossi” Duke.
Layne also lauded all his substitutes, including veteran former Barbados striker Peter Stoute, Neil Shepherd and Jason Goodridge for their support even though he wasn’t able to give them playing time in key matches.
“I had a gem of a bench, believe me, but the guys on the bench really did support the team,” he noted.
While it was the thrill of victory for Layne, Alleyne, who was seeking back-to-back titles with two different franchises, was denied more glory after his historic triumph with Bajan Pride in last year’s inaugural tournament.
“I must be disappointed. After working with Fire House and getting them to a final, I was disappointed that they didn’t go out there and execute, but these things do happen in life and we have to accept the things we can’t change and move on,” he said.
Alleyne conceded that Akademiks had the greater thirst to win the $100 000 first prize.
“We created a couple of chances but we weren’t clinical with the finishing. They got one in the dying stages and made it count. I think they were hungrier than us and they won the tournament.”
Alleyne, who had also coached Weymouth Wales to the Premier League title earlier this year, said he wanted a break from the game.
“I need a little rest out of soccer, honestly. I am not saying that I might not be with Wales again but I need a little rest. I have been doing this for quite some time.
“To be quite honest, our club, Wales, they knew that at the end of the season, I would want to take a year off but then I had some offers for one or two teams.
“I met with Fire House and I found that they were a good family of people and players and next year, I should be back with them so long as there is a LIME Tournament,” Alleyne said.
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