'Charlie' confident of beating Excelsior
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
After thrashing Cumberland High 11-0 in their last encounter, former champions Charlie Smith High will be looking to continue their impressive scoring form today when they face Excelsior in the lone match of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup football competition.
The Group B encounter, which will be played at the Courtney Walsh Oval, is set to kick off at 3:30 p.m.
The Jerome Waite-coached Charlie Smith, which have netted 12 goals in their last two matches, lead the standings with six points from as many matches. They are followed by Excelsior (four), Cumberland (one) and Vauxhall (zero).
Charlie Smith, the 2011 beaten finalists, will rest their hopes in the hands of the competition's top scorer, Bebeto McDonald, to lead their hunt for goals. McDonald has netted five goals in the competition, so far, which includes four in his last game against Cumberland.
"I am looking forward to my team to continue what they do best, which is scoring goals and winning matches," said Waite. "We are going for the win and getting this win, then it will mean that I will extend my lead from the rest of the pack."
Waite added that they are not going to take their opponents lightly, because he has been reliably informed that they a very solid defensive unit.
"Excelsior, based on my information, have a tougher defensive unit and so it is not going to be so easy to score so many goals. But the main objective is to win the game," Waite said.
McDonald is expected to receive major support from Shamar Pryce, Lemmar Stewart, Odane Samuels and captain Leon Taylor.
The Lebert Halliman-coached Excelsior, semi-finalists last year, should feel confident about themselves entering today's contest, this following their 2-0 victory over Vauxhall in their last game.
Halliman said his opponents should start as favourites to win today's contest because of the fact that his team is very inexperienced and most of his players are between the ages of 14 and 16.
"I haven't seen them play as yet this season, but the team that we drew with, they thrashed them 11-0 and so that should tell you something about their attack," Halliman said.
"We are going out there in a positive frame of mind, and so any result that comes we will take it," said Halliman.
He added: "This is one of the weakest teams that we have assembled since I have been at Excelsior, but we are going out there to give it our best shot because we are not going to lay down and let them roll over us."