National Under-23 coach Donovan Duckie said that taking charge of Mount Pleasant Football Academy's senior team was an easy decision for him after it was confirmed that he will be leading the recently promoted team in next season's Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) campaign.
The St Ann-based club gained qualification to the RSPL for the first time in its short history, after beating Barbican 2-1 in the final game of the Magnum/Charley's JB/JFF Premier League play-off series on Sunday.
Though the terms have not been revealed, Duckie, who was seen in charge of the team at the game, confirmed that he had signed a deal with the club's owner, Peter Gould.
"My decision to come to Mount Pleasant is due to a number of reasons. First of all, for 21 years, I have travelled the entire Jamaican roads, coaching at different clubs, and, this club is just a few miles from where I live in eastern Jamaica," the St Mary native said.
"Some two years ago, Peter Gould asked me and other coaches to form their academy; to be a part of the Under-13 and Under-15 programme. I am no stranger to Mount Pleasant," Duckie shared.
Duckie returned to Waterhouse for a second stint last November and lifted them from the relegation zone to the final, where they lost to Portmore United in a penalty shoot-out in April.
"I was always in the programme but behind the scene for the youth programme. I was not involved with the senior team. The owner reached out to me, and so I got involved with the senior team," said Duckie, who also had coaching duties at Portmore United, Humble Lion, and Highgate United.
"I want to be honest about this. The Under-23 workload will be heavy, and the Waterhouse job is a huge one to be there on a day-to-day basis. To put your name to a programme and you are not there on a day-to-day basis, which requires you to be there to handle the pressure daily, I could not make a commitment to go back to Waterhouse." he added.
Duckie also said that he did not sign a contract with Waterhouse during his time there from November 2017 to April 2018.
"I did not have a contract with Waterhouse. No, I was given a contract and took it home to review but never signed. I was under no contractual obligation with Waterhouse," he disclosed.
"On June 3, I told the chairman and president that I won't be a part of Waterhouse going forward. If you can remember, Mount Pleasant were no where near qualification on June 3rd. If they did not make it, I would not have a job. I had dialogue with Mr Bruce Bicknell and Mr Donovan White and the vice-president Carlton Byfield on June 3.
"It was clear to them that I was not going back to Waterhouse. It was hard for me to leave there because of the bond developed between the players and me. The community also showed me great love. There is a lot of respect for the chairman, president, and vice-president. It is a part of life sometimes you have to make tough decisions," continued Duckie, who noted that he shared in Gould's vision for Mount Pleasant.
"I have been at Mount Pleasant for two years. I know the structure and vision of Peter Gould. He has been a great person to me and my family. These are just some of the reasons. The club's vision is to develop world-class players, and I want to be a part of that vision" he said.