All eyes on Mount Pleasant as new season of RSPL kicks off today
Photo shows action from last seasons's Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) final between Portmore United at Waterhouse at the National Stadium in Kingston. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).
Weather permitting, the 2018-2019 season of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) kicks off on Sunday and all focus will be on Mount Pleasant, one of two promoted teams.
There is forecast for heavy rains at the weekend as a result of the passing of Tropical Depression Isaac,
Mount Pleasant will gain a lot of the attention not because they will open the season against reigning champions Portmore United at Spanish Town Prison Oval, but because of how they will make their entry.
The newcomers have been in a spending spree during the offseason in which they brought in a number of players, as well as head coach Donovan Duckie from last season's beaten finalists Waterhouse.
Duckie, the much-travelled coach, is also very experienced at the top level having established his credentials with top clubs Montego Bay United, Humble Lions and Waterhouse.
On the field, the experience of newly acquired players include Kemar Beckford, Ladale Richie, Evon Taylor, Ronaldo Rodney, Kareen Manning, Cardel Benbow, Sue-Lae McCalla, Daniel Green, Ricardo Dennis, Romario Campbell, Ricardo Campbell, Kevaughn Isaacs and goalkeeper Kadeem Dennis.
Their litmus test will begin with the defending champions, which have campaigned in the league consistently since their rise from Clarendon to the national level in the 1980s and have won six titles, the most by any of the island’s clubs.
Three of those were under the moniker Hazard United with the last three under the Portmore United brand where they migrated to and took on the community’s name in 2003. They have also been runners-up five times.
Duckie was involved in the final game of last season, but lost with Waterhouse, as Portmore denied him his first title in the competition. He will start this season, against them, and Portmore will be out to make life miserable for him and his charges.
The opening day will feature four other games and on Monday, last season's runners-up Waterhouse and Dunbleholden FC, the other newcomers, will face off at 3:30 pm at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
Reno vs Cavalier at Frome Sports Complex at 3:30 pm
Montego Bay United vs Tivoli Gardens at Wespow Park at 3:30 pm
Portmore United vs Mount Pleasant at Spanish Town Prison Oval at 3:30 pm
UWI vs Harbour View at Mona Bowl at 3:30 pm
Arnett Gardens vs Humble Lion at Anthony Spaulding Complex at 7:00 pm
Waterhouse FC vs Dunbeholden FC at Waterhouse Stadium at 8:35 pm