Twice as nice for Nobby
THE MIX OF youth and experience paid dividends for Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame, making this year’s local football “double crown” even sweeter for long-standing captain John “Nobby” Parris.Shortly after the Dames blanked Lucky Horseshoe Ellerton 4-0 in last Sunday’s Banks Knockout Cup final at the National Stadium to add to the Digicel Premier League title, Parris told NATIONSPORT it was a special feeling he would always cherish.Parris said he was particularly proud and pleased with the emergence of some young, talented footballers in the Bay land, St Michael squad.“It is great for me this season to see that I was out [injured] for eight games, six in the League and two in the Knockout and my team with the youngsters and the veterans like [Wayne] Sobers and Rudy Grosvenor coming in and mixing with the youngsters, still dominated,” the inspirational team stalwart said.Parris, who moved from defence into midfield for most of the season, said teenagers such as Kyle Gibson, Decarlo Jemmott and Tramaine Cobham also bonded well with other experienced players like Bryan Neblett, Orville Bobb, Ryan Lucas and Ricky Barnes.“It feels great to see the mixture and how the youth coming in and pulling their weight. It shows that we got a good foundation at Notre Dame when it is time for me and Sobers and Rudy, Morrison [Taylor] to move on so this one pleases me even more than in 2008 when we did the double,” Parris said.He was also delighted that Gibson, the son of former Royals Division 1 basketballer, Earl “Bird” Gibson, rediscovered his goal-scoring touch and scored a hat trick in the final.“It was due. You can’t score 13 goals in the Premier League season and then go into a slump like that. Something had to be wrong and he found back his touch tonight [Sunday]. He’s a youngster, 17, going 18 [years old] with a lot of ability. He just needs a little working on and he will make it,” Parris said.Parris lauded the work of relatively new coaches Rodney Barker and Albert Mapp, both former Barbados footballers.The former Barbados captain and long-serving national player also has some advice for the Barbados Football Association (BFA).“Instead of carrying the games to some of the outside grounds, I would prefer to have the games played at the Stadium for security reasons first, and then the condition of the fields,” he said.“I played a couple games at Brereton and then we had a game to play at Orange Hill that had to be rescheduled because the field was bad. I think if we could get the majority of the games playing at the National Stadium, or even if the BFA can get a ground like Carlton [Desmond Haynes Oval], the players would have a good, level playing field to play on and not those uneven fields with cracks . . .,” Parris contended.Parris said Sunday was a perfect example that even when there was persistent rainfall, football could still be played at the Stadium.“With the amount of rain that fell, I think the pasture held up a lot.“The grass was a bit too high, but once you adapt to the first 10 to 15 minutes and get the pace of the pasture, I think the pitch was good,” he said.The 36-year-old Parris, who has again been invited to national training for the upcoming Digicel Caribbean Championships, said it would be his swansong, if selected.
by EZRA STUART