Arnett aim to break Barbican stranglehold
First-time finalists Arnett Gardens will face a steep task when they square off with six-time defending champions and nine-time winners, Barbican, in the Sherwin Williams Women's League football final at Waterhouse Stadium, starting at 5 p.m.
The Jerome Waite-coached Arnett stunned G.C. Foster College in the semi-finals to advance to their first ever women's football final, but Waite is undaunted by the prospect of facing the queens of the local women's game for the title, confident they can end Barbican's stranglehold on the trophy.
The teams met twice this season, with Barbican winning 1-0 and the other match drawing 0-0.
"Confidence is always there. They (girls) play with passion and want to learn and do better every day, so they are looking forward to it and they can't wait," he said.
National Under-20 player, Shantel Bailey, has been the 'Junglists' top performer this season, but Waite stressed that it will take a collective performance to defeat Barbican.
"It will be a collective effort despite Shantel Bailey being ahead of the rest of players. Reaching the final is one thing, but to win you need the collective effort from each individual. But the fact that you reach the final means you have a chance, and on the day we just want the girls to perform to the best of their potential and the rest would be history," he added.
Bailey should get good support from Keana-Shay Thomas, Sasha Ranger, Sadee Lewis, Siobhan James and goalkeeper Kadian Edwards.
Barbican's coach, Charles Edwards, expects a spirited challenge from Arnett. However, he does not think they have the experience to stop his well-seasoned Barbican team.
ENERGETIC YOUNG TEAM
"Arnett Gardens is a young, energetic team. They will carry the fight to us and will be running hard. But my question is - How long can they last running hard? Once we play tactically right, we should be comfortable," Edwards commented.
He noted that they are peaking at the right time.
"I heard Jerome say they could have won the second game if they had put away their chances, but I was watching a totally different game as they never took a shot on our goal. The second-half was one-way traffic and we were just recovering from the chik-V and our players were weak, so to go to Arnett and draw 0-0 and dominate means we are the stronger team," he reasoned.
"We are much stronger coming into this game and our players will be much calmer than theirs, so once we come all out I don't see why we shouldn't get by them," he said.
Barbican will be led in attack by the league's top scorer, Tashanna Vincent (18 goals) and Shanique Smith (nine), with good support expected from captain Alecia James, Trudian Mills, Rochelle Bryan and Davia Smith.