Manager of La Busola Willikies Warriors, Edison “Eddo” Lynch is confident that the team will be able to hold its place in the Imobile Premier Division when the dust clears at the end of the season.
With just one win in four matches, however, it may be just talk.
But not so says Lynch who sounded the alarm prior to taking down defending champions Asot’s Arcade Parham at the ARG on Sunday.
“When we (team) got to the game we passed a number of Parham supporters and one of them said that we are here for more blows.
“I told him not today (Sunday)” the manager stated.
And true to his word, the Warriors beat Parham 1-0 much to the chagrin of the league champions and their fans.
Willikies came from a goal down to beat Parham who played most of the game with ten men after Akeem “Lepee” Thomas was sent off in the 27th minute.
Lynch is of the view that Willikies would still have won the game even if Parham was at full strength.
“This is not the same team that lost its first three games,” the manager suggested.
“We are a lot more confident and we are a more united team than we were at the beginning of the season.
He attributes the change to a number of key adjustments made over the past few weeks.
At the top of the list and most importantly is the fact that the team is finally buying into the philosophy of new head coach former national team utility player Steveroy “Demon” Anthony.
“From the time “Demon” came to the club he has been preaching unity, something that has been lacking in the team for a long time,” the manager said.
“The concept is simple and guys are finally realizing the strength of being a united force and it showed in the game against Parham.”
He is hoping that they can grow even stronger as the season progresses.
Another key ingredient is the play of the team’s defence which includes two players from All Saints, Abra O’Garro, a.k.a. “Judgement” and Ashorn “Ash” Martin.
The two played formidable roles in defence for Bassa for a number of years winning back to back titles along the way before leaving for the Warriors at the end of last season.
“These guys know how to win,” the manager said.
“As a relatively young squad we needed their talents and experience to go along with these talented and exciting players we have over here.”
“ Abra maintains that he saw a lot of talent in Willikies even before he joined the team and he insists that if the players believe in themselves they can hold their own in this league.”
Moving striker Olson “Heights” Forde from the frontline and into the goalkeeping position has also paid dividends for the team.
“That was a decision that we were pleased that Olson took because it has reaped immediate benefits and we expect much more profits as the season extends.
“He has already pulled off some brilliant saves and undoubtedly he is one of the best between the uprights,” stated the manager.
Omari Hazelwood is Forde’s backup making a fairly good goalkeeping duo, a necessary component for success.
Then there is the veteran and former national team striker Winston “Sprocket” Roberts, a player Lynch is of the view can ‘make or brake’ the team.
Presently Roberts, who played with Parham when they won the premiership a few seasons ago is pushing all the right buttons and has lifted his game both on and off the field.
He scored the game winner against his former club on Sunday.
“He is a senior player and at times he can be very deflating to the youngsters who are looking up to him for inspiration,” Lynch reflected.
“Lately though, “Sprocket” has show tremendous improvement in his attitude, both personally as well as towards the youngsters.
“And that has translated into more positive team chemistry and improved confidence.
One of the players whose game was visibly lifted on Sunday was that of young defender Damian “Onion” Williams.
He drew the extremely tough assignment to ‘mark’ striker Kerry “Arab” Skepple.
Less than two weeks ago Skepple made history with the national team when they defeated Haiti 1-0 in a third round FIFA World Cup Qualifying match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Skepple scored the lone goal that lifted Antigua & Barbuda into the semis of the World Cup Qualifiers where they will meet United States, Jamaica and Guatemala in a home and away series.
“In our team meeting after the game he (Williams) was voted man of the match for his work against Skepple who is not an easy striker to defend,” Lynch reflected.
“He did a remarkable job against one of the best strikers in the league and with that type of effort from all our players we know we can compete in this league.
Lynch contends that Willikies will be in the premiership next season unlike three years ago when the team was promoted but lasted just one season.
“Our main objective is to stay in the premiership.
“We are confident, talented and with the right attitude we can compete and win in this league,” the manager insisted.
Lynch knows that it will not be an easy task as teams with ‘money’ will be importing players as the season progresses.
“We know that we will not be able to compete with the clubs with long pockets as far as paying overseas players.
“Therefore, it’s imperative that we win as many games as possible as soon as possible.
“There is a lot of talent in Willikies and we believe that if necessary we can draw from the pool we have at home.”
With just four points from five matches the Warriors will have to continue its winning ways if they are to meet their expectations.
This Sunday, they play Sugar Ridge Sap who took down the mighty Special Security Services All Saints United last week.
If Willikies beat Sap, then surely all clubs must take notice, if they loose then its back to the drawing board.

Courtesy of the ABFA Webnews Team