Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Semi-final day in KSAFA Super League

Published:Saturday | April 11, 2015 | 4:00 AMMarc Stamp
David Laylor
Marcel Gayle
Shevon Stewart
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It's down to the semi-finals of the Jamaica National (JN)/

Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Super League today, featuring four teams continuing the battle for the title, and most importantly a chance to reach the play-offs for a spot in next season's Red Stripe Premier League.

In the first of a double-header at Winchester Park, St George's College, Brown's Town face the University of the West Indies (UWI) at 1 p.m., to be followed by Real Mona against Rockfort at 3:30 p.m.

The winners of each semi-final will contest the final a week later at a venue to be named. The champion team will represent KSAFA in the National Premier League Confederation play-off next month.

The champions will walk away with the trophy and cash incentive of $140,000, while the runners-up are guaranteed $100,000. Third and fourth place will receive $85,000 and $70,000, respectively.

Coach of Brown's Town FC, Mark Bennett, says reaching the semi-finals is a historic feat for his club.

"It is a big step for us. We have been to the Major League final, but this is the first time we are at this stage in the Super League," Bennett told The Gleaner yesterday.

"For the entire community it means a lot because of a history of violence. Football has served to calm that. This is a lift for us," he added.

Both teams met in a cross-zone game last November 29 and Brown's Town won 2-0. However, Bennett pointed out that it is a game that no team wants to lose as it is a knockout.

"We have beaten them before but now is different. We have not been efficient in front of goal, but defensively we are playing well," he added.

Orane Sutherland is the team's top scorer on four goals.

DIFFERENT APPROACH

On the other hand, coach of UWI, Marcel 'Fuzzy' Gayle, says the approach will be different in today's encounter.

"The preliminary round is completed and we are now playing for a spot in the final. We lost to them during the season, but on Saturday (today) it will be a different game," Gayle said.

Mitch Wright is the team's top scorer on 12 goals.

Meanwhile, in the second game, both teams are confident.

Real Mona slammed Rockfort in a cross-zone fixture on November 29, but Mona's coach David Laylor is not taking the game for granted.

"We can't say much about the opponents. The aim is to try and play good football and come out on top," Laylor said.

He emphasised that "it will take a total team effort", as the team will be without leading scorer Moses Jordan. However, St George's College schoolboy star Shevon Stewart and Kemar Campbell are among the form players.

Rockfort's coach Leon Mitchell disclosed that his team is pumped up to avenge the defeat to Real Mona.

"We played them before and lost 0-3, but we were not at our best in that game. Now, we want to make amends. I think the team is fired up for this one," Mitchell said.

Rockfort will look to Akeen Higgins to carry them to victory. He is the team's leading striker on six goals.

Entrance fee is $300 per person.