Roddy Dowers, the man who has been the manager of local football club Hope International for most of its 20 years of existence was last Tuesday presented with an award for his longevity of service to the club.
The occasion was the hosting of the club’s 20th anniversary celebrations at the Haddon Hotel on December 29.
In accepting his award, Dowers confessed that he has received awards in the past, but “this one is special.”
Recounting his association with Hope International, Dowers told the audience that his was merely coincidental.
He recalled being at a match at the Sion Hill Playing Field during the club’s formative years in August 1995, which signalled his introduction to the managerial duties.
Dowers noted that at half-time of the said match, members of Hope International were audibly in disagreement with the state of their play, which prompted his intervention, and there is where it commenced.
Whilst the club has enjoyed many fruitful years thanks to his input, Dowers admitted that the club has helped him develop his managerial skills in return.
Initiated by James Lewis, the first roster of Hope International contained several members of the Sion Hill FC.
Apart from Lewis, who was the captain, the 1995 outfit also included John Lewis, Venton James, Vincent John, Melvin Andrews, Japheth King, Linford Brewster, Roy Marshall, Daswell Cambridge, Gustafus Harry (deceased), Junior Lavia, Jimi Jack , Diara Christopher, Desmond Llewelyn, Randy Pierre, Aquasi Audain and Samuel Jack.
Under Dowers’ guidance and management, Hope International immediately made an impact on the Sion Hill Football League, reaching the finals in 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, but they had to wait until 2000 to lift their first title, beating Sion Hill 1-0.
Hope International, however, was crowned champions of the Arnos Vale Soccer League from 1997 to 1999.
Other titles pouched by Hope International included another Arnos Vale Soccer League triumph in 2008, the National Club Championships’ premiership in 2004, 2006 and 2014.
Hope International also added the Brighton and Campden Park Football league titles to its trophy cabinet, with the first division team champing the Kingstown Soccer League title in 2001.
Spreading its wings, Hope International took the regional Seven-A-Side competition in Tobago in 2000.(RT)