FORMER national team striker Ron La Forest is making his boldest move as a football coach.
Having had successful coaching stints with local schools and club teams, La Forest has formed Real West Fort United, his first senior club. The team will be based at the spanking new Diego Martin Sporting Complex and hopes to kick into action next month.
“We have been invited to play in the Ascension League this August,” stated La Forest. “Having said so, if things are fruitful and we can get the sponsors we are looking for, we will apply to the Pro League. We will be heading for that. If that doesn’t work out, we will try and get in the Super League.”
La Forest felt it was time to have his own club, having previously worked for others.
“I have been serving for a long time,” he said, “and every time I serve, people tend to get above themselves and take back their team.
“That is my team. That is Ron La Forest’s team. I have two good assistants with me. I have Shurland Hartely and I have Gordon Pierre, that helping me form this team.”
As a player, La Forest was a national team staple and had stints with Defence Force and the star-studded ASL Sports in the 1980’s. He also had a stints in the USA and Hong Kong. Coaching wise, La Forest has been head-coach with the national under-17, under-20 and under-23 teams, and a national senior team assistant-coach as well. La forest, 65, has also had stints at ECM Motown, Trinity Pros and San Juan Jabloteh.
Asked what he has been doing in the three years since dominating the 2017 Super League, when he led Guaya United to the league and cup double, “Ron La” was straightforward as ever,
“You mean since Guaya fire me?” he replied in typical no-nonsense fashion.
“Well, I have always had the Ron La Forest Academy. I have been handling my youths and them for a long time. Having teams like Guaya and those have been like a part-time something, but I have been running my coaching school since 1997. Now, I have decided to bring out my first senior team.”
A product of Carenage and Belmont, La Forest will base his team around the West region which he knows best.
“God provided a lovely stadium in Diego Martin and I decided to form a team from this region. I decided to go into the areas like Carenage, Point Cumana, L’anse Mitan, Cocorite, Diego Martin, St James and Maraval, to name a few, and bring out a team called Real West Fort United,” he said.
The former Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive coach is looking at forming his squad primarily with young players, along with some experienced players.
“You find that players leave school and they have nowhere to go and nothing to do. So we looking for the 17, 18 and 19-years-olds, out of school. Of course, we need some experienced players in the side to keep it steady.”
La Forest launched his new team yesterday and hopes to hold sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Diego Martin Sports Complex. He hopes Real West Fort United will also be a positive force in the area he has focused on.
“The word is out now and I hope more people will want to come around the organisation,” La Forest declared, “This is a plus for the Western hemisphere where there is too much violence and distraction. There is too much of that on this side. If we could have something that the youngsters could look up to, that will be a plus for them.”