It’s ironic that Andrew Peart has had to defend his position after taking Jamaica College (JC) to the ISSA-Digicel Manning Cup semi-final and the ISSA Champions Cup final in his first year as head football coach. For almost any other team, that would be a fine start to his tenure. For Peart, it comes at a school used to winning and pales in comparison to the last five years of unparalleled success. When JC won the Olivier Shield last year, it broke a tie with Vere Technical, whose dream teams of the late 1960s won the shield, the time-honoured symbol of schoolboy football supremacy, four times straight. That’s what Coach Peart is up against. HARSH FANS Logic says that he is off to a good start, but fans can be harsh. Just this season, supporters of the successful Bayern Munich Bundesliga team booed their team off the pitch at their own Alliance Arena. Bayern were going through a bad patch, but have won the Bundesliga six times straight, including last season, and almost always make a deep run in the UEFA Champions League. Last Saturday, Chelsea endured a horrible day at Wembley and fell to local rivals Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1. The loss was Chelsea’s first of the Premier League season, yet Blues fans streamed out long before the game was over. You’d think Chelsea were in Manchester, but Stamford Bridge, the club’s home ground, is less than 40 minutes away from Wembley. Fans can be fickle here in Jamaica, too. Five years ago, when Jamaica was trying to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Reggae Boyz fell behind the USA at the National Stadium. With 15 minutes to go and the 1-0 scoreline favouring the visitors, fans drifted to the exit. Some presumably were well on their way home or in the Stadium car park when Jamaica equalised. Those on their way out turned back when they heard the roar of the faithful. It’s the way of football, and Peart isn’t the only high school coach in the hot seat. Though he has led Kingston College (KC) to trophies in his two seasons back at home, Ludlow Bernard is reportedly in the firing line. If his Purple-and-Whites do not win against St George’s College tomorrow in the ISSA-Digicel Manning Cup final, the curtain may fall on his reign at North Street. Ironically, again, KC haven’t won the Manning Cup since 1986 and, until 2018, hadn’t reached the Manning Cup final in 18 years. Bernard must be doing something good. Last season, Crystal Palace fired their new coach Frank de Boer after just four games in charge. Just weeks before, the club went into a long song and dance about how de Boer would transform Palace football. Four games and four losses into the experiment with the Dutchman’s Ajax style 3-4-3 formation, Crystal Palace fired him before the experiment could really get going. As hasty as that seems, others say that football is a result-oriented business and that the Dutchman had to go. On the results, it seems that Peart and Bernard, win or lose tomorrow, have done enough to earn extended stays at Hope Road and North Street, respectively. Peart has taken over from the super successful Miguel Coley and lost to two veteran head coaches – Neville Bell of St George’s College in the Manning Cup semi-final and to Dr Dean Weatherly of Cornwall College in the Champions Cup final. As for Bernard, he has brought trophies back to 2A North Street. Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track since 1980.