Uncertain Barbican face tough debut
Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
It is with mixed feelings that Barbican FC make their Premier League debut against the storied Boys' Town at Collie Smith Drive this evening.
With the Red Brigade, as Boys' Town are known, coming off a 0-3 beating at the hands of Sporting Central last week, they could be seen as a vulnerable force and ideal opponents for the new boys.
On the other hand, pride would not allow them to lose two matches in a row and at home to a newly promoted team. These are the thoughts that coach, Junior Francis, has been wrestling with as he prepared his charges for this game.
"This team, it is their first year in the league and this their first game will give me the opportunity to see how mentally ready they are for this kind of competition.
"They are a good bunch, but I am not sure how well they will respond," Francis said. "They have done well in training so I expect a good show. It is for them to go out and execute," he said, adding that their aim will be to get three points or at worst a point.
Boys' Town, he knows, are never easy.
"They are a hard-running, fighting team so that will make it difficult. They never want to lose two in a row and they are playing at home, a place where they have always been strong, so we expect a hard-running game from them," Francis said of Boys' Town.
Andrew Price, coach of Boys' Town, was in agreement with Francis and promised a much better showing from his players.
"What you will see is a much better performance from our players. It is our first home game, so we want to put on a show for our supporters," Price promised.
Last week's below, par performance, he said, was largely due to the unavailability of some of his players who were abroad.
"The return of Xavian Virgo, Asrick Samuels and Garfield Gillespie will add a lot to the team in terms of experience and quality, which should really lift some of the younger players. This experience should combine well with emerging players such as Hugh Evans and André Dawson to make a good blend," said Price, adding that the likes of Michael Campbell, Kirk Porter and Damion Benjamin will be present.
If Barbican are to put on a good show and even get the better of Boys' Town they will need the likes of Shawn Lawes, former national Under-17 goalkeeper who now plays as a midfielder and defender, to perform well.
"Lawes has premier league experience at Arnett Gardens and Ramone McGregor was also wanted by them, too, but he opted to stay. He is quite good too and can play both in midfield and defence," Francis pointed out.
Defender Omar Walcott, who was loaned to Barbican along with Ricardo Henry, Steve Broderick and Kimorlee Brissett should also play a key role for the newly promoted team. Goalkeeper Ashek Taylor will also be keen to prove that he belongs at this level.
At Stadium East, Cavalier will be seeking to halt the Sporting Central charge led by François Swaby.
Perennial title contenders, Harbour View, were off to a losing start last week against Arnett Gardens and will be keen to record their first positive result for the season when they play away to Tivoli Gardens. The return of Kemar Lawrence should improve their mood as along with Nicholas Becket and John-Ross Edwards should provide leadership. Tivoli Gardens, on the other hand, will be looking to Keammar Daley to continue his goalscoring form.
Tomorrow, Arnett Gardens and Rivoli United will put on a show under the lights at Stadium East.
Teams P W D L GF GA GD PtsSporting 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 3Arnett 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3Cavalier 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1H Lion 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1Rivoli 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1Tivoli 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1MoBay Utd 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1Reno 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1H View 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0Boys' Town 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0Barbican 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0W'house 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3:30 p.m. Boys' Town vs Barbican at Collie Smith Complex
5 p.m. Cavalier vs Sporting Central at Stadium East
3:30 p.m. Reno vs Humble Lion at Frome Complex
3:30 p.m. Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View at Edward Seaga Complex
9 p.m. Arnett Gardens vs Rivoli United at Stadium East