Coaches ready, okay with one-off battle for Olivier Shield
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The coaches of Manning Cup title holders Jamaica College (JC) and daCosta Cup champions Clarendon College (CC) are at ease with the newly implemented one-off clash for the Olivier Shield - a break-away from the traditional home and away finals.
The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), organisers of schoolboy football, decided on the change ahead of the season and the big match, the traditional rivalry for all-island schoolboy supremacy, will take place this Saturday at Juici Park playing field in Clarendon, starting at 2:30 p.m.
"I don't think that people pay too much interest in the two-way final, so we (ISSA) decided on a one-way final to generate more interest," George Forbes, ISSA competitions officer, told The Gleaner.
"The decision was made at ISSA's annual general meeting in June and the schools were all properly notified," he said.
"We've decided to try the one-way final for the next two years to see what will happen," he informed.
Miguel Coley, coach of defending champions JC, is not opposed to the change.
"We had knowledge of that, it was no surprise," Coley told The Gleaner. "It was because of the introduction of the LIME Super Cup.
"It is a break-away from tradition. This means that it will be a home game for Clarendon College as the match is in Clarendon. But we are ready for the challenge," he added.
Meanwhile, coach of Clarendon College, Patrick 'Jackie' Walters, also said he has no problem with the change in format.
"We knew about it long time, months ago," Walters told The Gleaner. "Basically, I don't have any problem with the one-leg final as in the past sometimes the second leg gets meaningless.
"Sometime the result is one-sided in the first game and the second match then lacks interest," he pointed out.
With regards to the battle for schoolboy supremacy between town and country, Walters says that his team is ready for the challenge.
"We are well ready for the clash against JC on Saturday," Walters pointed out.