Top striker ready to lead Roma United to the top

After a fifth place finish last season, Roma United is eyeing a better showing for the 2016-17 Cayman Premier League campaign and the team’s leading scorer from last season appears willing to put that burden on his shoulders.

Peter Rose played only about half of last season and missed time due to a red card but he still managed to lead Roma in scoring with 10 goals and finish as one of the top marksmen in the Premier League.

He knows that if the George Town club stands any chance of contending for a title, he’ll have to come good once again. “I have a lot to prove,” the forward told during a training session Wednesday night.

“I have put in all the hard work. It’s just time for me to go and show what I can do,” Rose said, adding that he has a lofty goal of his contributions to the team. “If I can score 25 goals this season, then my team has all the chance of winning the league.”

Thomas believes this could be Roma's season.

Thomas believes this could be Roma’s season.

Team manager George Thomas said his squad has the talent to content but needs to focus more on sealing the deal throughout the season and contending for the crown.

“Roma has been in the league for years and we have won a lot of knockout cups, we always have the pedigree but, for some reason, we have lacked that winning mentality for the league. That is what we are aiming towards this year,” he said.

“It’s more about getting them mentally prepared. The talent is always there,” Thomas added, noting that Roma’s players are frequently on the radar of other clubs to transfer. “We always have the quality. It’s just in terms of getting them ready.”

He said preparations have been good with key players like Rose, Gawayne Speed and Steve Dunkley returning alongside new additions including Dexter Sharpe and Delano Mitchell.

“It’s stronger,” Thomas said of the club’s side for the upcoming season compared to last year. “A few of our key players are out injured but we have gotten a few recruits and it’s going to be their first season. They are hungry. It’s their first season, so they have a point to prove,” he explained.


Roma’s players doing skills training.

Their first test is against defending league champions Scholars International at the Ed Bush Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Roma beat the West Bay side during the last campaign, including en route to winning the President’s Cup.

That success is not something Thomas is dwelling too much on. “Football is a game that’s played on the day. So, we never predict it before it happens,” the manager told us.

Meantime, Rose and his teammates appear eager to take the pitch. “[For] two months we have been training hard for this moment, so we’re hoping for the best come this Sunday and going forward into the competition,” he said.

“The coach has done his best and the players have also done their best. It’s just our time now to come out and show our fans what we have been training for all along.”

Fan support has been something Roma United has counted on and that’s something Thomas hopes will continue.

“I just want to thank them for all their support over the years, especially last year. They have been a massive help to us. Basically, they brought us their victories. They pushed us when we were down and my heart goes out to them,” he said.

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