Coach of premier division champions Asot’s Arcade Parham Winston “Debu” Williams is confident his team has what it takes to defend its title.

That is despite the fact that international team striker Peter “Big Pete” Byers left Parham for Sugar Ridge Sap.

Though Byers did not lead the team in scoring last season, his presence was on the frontline was critical to Parham’s ultimate success.

Kerry “Arab” Skepple who emerged as the league’s chief marksman benefitted significantly with Byers as his teammate.

Skepple won the premier division’s “Golden Boot” with 18 goals.

A number of overseas players were on the Parham roster last season, which also played a huge role in the team’s successes.

Last season though is a distant memory and the current Parham squad is a lot younger and home grown.

Williams though is realistically optimistic that his team can defend its title but it will take more than winning games to do so.

“We have a very good chance of defending the title but we are going to need help,” Williams said.

“Even if we win all our matches that will not guarantee us the title since we are so far behind in points from Old Road.”

The coach has a point.

Parham got off to a horrific start to his season losing two of its first three starts.

They fell behind early but a late run with no losses in seven matches is responsible for the team’s present position.

Now with one game into the second half of the of the 18-game season, Parham is six points adrift of league leaders Lime Old Road and three points behind Special Securities All Saints United.

The question is whether or not Parham will get the help it needs to win?

Maybe!

Firstly, Parham may have to win its remaining matches in order to at least have a chance.

Next question, can Parham win its remaining games?

Williams surely thinks so.

“I am confident that with the maturity of our young players (Eugene Kirwan, Garry “Peter Reds” Harriett) along with the way Kerry (Skepple) and our defence is playing that we can win,” said the coach.

To accomplish this however, Williams understands that he must approach his duties sensibly.

“We cannot ‘count our chickens before they hatch,’” the coach insisted.

“We cannot afford to look ahead of any team.

“It’s one game at a time.

“This week we have Sap and that has to be our main focus at this time.”

In terms of help, Parham does need it and may get it too.

The two teams ahead of Parham, Old Road and United dropped seven and ten points respectively in the first round.

A repeat of those performances or worst, as well as a perfect Parham in the second round would surely give the defending champions its cup back.

It’s a lot to ask but Williams is of the view that if there is a team that can accomplish that feat it’s his much improved Parham.

It’s left to be seen.