Keithy Simpson opts out of JPL season
Dunbeholden FC will be without midfielder Keithy Simpson and injured striker Errol Stevens for this Jamaica Premier League (JPL) season, which starts on Saturday.
Dunbeholden manager Paul Christie said that Simpson informed the club that he was not in the right frame of mind to play, after the recent death of teammate Tremaine Stewart.
"We have been putting systems in place in case of these eventualities, and now we have seen where Keithy is not mentally ready based on the death of his close friend, Tremaine, and a few other things that are happening in his personal life," Christie said. "Now that these issues are here, we just have to trust the technical and coaching staff to prepare the team as best as possible and just live with the results."
Stewart collapsed and died during a football match in his community in Gordon Pen, St Catherine, on Sunday, April 18. He was 32 years old.
Simpson and Stewart both left Waterhouse for Dunbeholden at the end of the last season, with thoughts of winning the JPL title for the St Catherine-based club.
Christie said that the club will miss all three players, especially for their leadership on the field and also in the dressing room.
"These players would have been the leaders of our team, so other players will have to step up now," he said. "We have seen the leadership of Keithy Simpson during his stint at the club and he was not selfish in his leadership role. He would have imparted some of his knowledge and [his leadership] has been felt by everyone at the club.
"However, Keithy and Errol are both Dunbeholden players, so hopefully, as the season progresses, they will be able to rejoin the team. We will be monitoring them and once they become available, then they will be integrated in the team."