New-look JC to face Calabar
Jamaica College's dominance of the Corporate Area Manning Cup competition over the past two seasons was dependent on a core of players that included their talisman and captain Junior Flemming, Rafiek Bryan, Sheldon McKoy, Kevin Blackwood, to name a few.
Although the Old Hope Road-based school will have the bulk of their starting defenders such as Allando Brown, Chadwayne Johnson and Donovan Segree for the new season, they will have a new attacking core when they face Calabar High at the Montego Bay Sports Complex today at 2 p.m.
"It was projected that we would have lost them (key players). But we always have good replacements, players who have come through the ranks and those who have stepped up.
"We played the STETHS Cup and it showed they (players) have guts, determination and quality and we hope we continue growing as the season progresses," coach Miguel Coley commented.
Brown and Johnson will provide leadership and experience from behind. However, the midfield and the attacking units are still pretty young. But Coley's focus is on going all the way for a third straight season.
"We have players who are competent. We just need to guide them and give them the necessary confidence to go out and do the work.
"I expect we will do very well in today's opener, although it will be tough against Calabar I just want a good solid performance and a win would make me happy," he said.
Calabar's Bradley Stewart who is in his second season at the school, expects his players to do much better than last year and a positive start, especially a win, is the result they need to kick-start their season.
"It will be a challenge playing the defending champions as they were the best team (last season). We feel that we made improvements and we want to give ourselves a good chance of taking a good result.
"And a good result would be not to lose. The best result would be to win, and we are going to try for the best possible result in every match," he stated.
"There is also additional motivation, as there is the anniversary of Calabar ... on September 12. This is significant for us and there is no better time than now to boost activities of our founders' day celebrations.
Several other Manning Cup games will be contested in the corporate area today. The scheduled games are Holy Trinity vs St Mary's College (Bell/Chung Oval), St Andrew Technical vs Penwood, Wolmer's vs St Jago, Kingston College vs Camperdown (at Clovelly Park) and Waterford vs Jose Marti. All matches kick off at 3:30 p.m.