Latest News

See what is happening at MBU

Resurgent MBU set sights high for next season

CATHERINE HALL, St James — After just missing the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) play-offs on goal difference to Waterhouse FC, the management of Montego Bay United (MBU) have set their sights high for next season when they hope to be challenging for the title.

MBU returned to the JPL in the 2021-22 season, and because of the regulations then wherein no team could be relegated, their last-place finish was taken in stride and last year they just managed to avoid relegation with two games to go.

After a poor first round during which they just managed to stay above the relegation zone, the former champions staged a remarkable comeback in the second round and, for the first time in years, were still in contention on the final day of the regular season.

MBU and Waterhouse FC ended the season on 43 points but the Kingston based-club had a better goal difference of 16 to 10 and got the final spot in the play-offs.

When his group took over the running of the club from former President Orville Powell, just before the start of the season, Chairman Yoni Epstein raised some eyebrows when he said MBU would be in contention for a title inside three years — but a slow start to the season almost made him eat his words.

“You know when we went in the transfer window I said this is either gonna go really good or really bad, and it went really good,” Epstein told the Jamaica Observer after beating Tivoli Gardens 2-1 in the return round at Montego Bay Sports Complex, to end the season on a high.

MBU made wholesale changes in the January transfer window, bringing in players such as former Reggae Boyz attackers Jourdaine Fletcher and Owayne Gordon as well as Courtney Allen.

“You can’t ask for anymore — we went 10 games unbeaten, five wins in a row. You know, Montego Bay United showed the Jamaica Premier League that they are back,” he said. “We are to be watched. Next year we’re not going to be fighting for top six, we are going to be fighting for the first and second position.”

Nedier Dos Santos, coach of the MBU team, was also full of praise for his team.

“We are very, very proud of this team. I have to compliment the players, every one of them; they did a fantastic second round.

“To win the last five games and stay unbeaten the last 10 was hard. We made up 12 points on Dunbeholden and four points on Waterhouse but it was hard to play under that kind of pressure every game, to play catch-up, because you cannot lose, you have to win, win, win. And we did it, sometimes playing against teams with nothing to lose, but that was not the case today.

“Tivoli is a big side, one of the championship contenders, and we are happy that we were able to beat them twice,” he said.

In their last 15 games MBU won nine games, drew five, and lost once — scoring 26 of their total 39 goals and conceded 10 of the 29 goals on the season.

Epstein said they would sit down and chart the way forward.

“You know, you have to look at yourself, look at what went right and what went wrong, and we will fix what needs to be fixed over the summer,” said Epstein, adding that players have been calling and making themselves available.

“The phones are ringing already as there are people who want to come back to Montego Bay so we are looking to develop the best squad in the Jamaica Premier League. And, as I said to you, next year we’re going to be fighting the first and second.”

Source: Jamaica Observer