Derek King has been reduced in rank from Head Coach to assistant Coach at Joe Public, the club he led to a historic five titles last season.
This was confirmed by the Macoya based Pro League club on Tuesday morning, less than a week after finishing third in this season’s Digicel Pro League Championship—one of the titles they captured in 2009.
The club also confirmed that 26 year-old Rajesh Latchoo, assistant coach to King, will now hold the post of interim Head Coach.
Also back in the fold is former team captain and assistant coach Dale Saunders. Saunders re-joins the staff as an assistant coach.
Last Friday, Joe Public finished the League Championship with 35 points, not only failing to defend the title this season but also failed to qualify for Caribbean Football Union Club Championship and a chance of next season’s CONCACAF Champions’ League.
The Lions needed a win against DIRECTV North East Stars on Friday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in their final League match to finish second and qualify for the CFU tournament. But after going ahead in the 3rd minute with a goal from Marcus Joseph, Joe Public suffered a 93rd minute Anthony Wolfe penalty to end in a 1-1 draw.
Meantime Caledonia AIA enjoyed a 3-2 win over San Juan Jabloteh at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in their final match on Friday and finished one point ahead of Joe Public for second. Caledonia joined 2010-2011 League Champions Defence Force in the CFU Club Championship.
When quizzed if the change had anything to do with the club’s failure to defend the League Championship or qualify for the CFU tournament and by extension the CONCACAF Champions’ League, Joe Public General Manager, Sam Phillip simply responded, “The club decided on making a technical change.
“Like everything in football and just as everything in life, changes happen.
“And it was an administration decision to swing around the technical staff,” Phillip concluded.
This season Joe Public captured the First Citizens Cup(a title that evaded them last season), but failed to defend the FA Trophy and League Championship thus far.
The Lions now led by Latchoo, who now has the title of the youngest Head Coach in the Pro League is left with the Toyota Classic (in February) and Digicel Pro Bowl (in March) titles to defend.
“I accept the new role professionally,” said Latchoo over his appointment as interim Head Coach. “This is the instruction set down by the directors and I’m going to do the best of my ability.”
Latchoo looks forward to the Toyota Classic and Digicel Pro Bowl and hopes to do well.
“We hope to do well in the next two competitions,” he said. “Based on the players we have remaining which is a very young bunch and we will work on being best prepared. We will like to win both competitions but we will move forward one game at a time.”