Hydel, 'Selassie' square off in Manning Cup
Hydel High will square off against Haile Selassie High in today's feature Group B clash of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup preliminary round at Cling Cling Oval, starting at 3:30 p.m.
The Hydel team leads the group with 10 points from four games, while Haile Selassie are in second position on seven points from four games.
The top two in the group are followed by Dunoon Technical (7), Greater Portmore (5), Papine (4), and Cumberland - without a point.
With the first round of games set to conclude today and the return games to start next week, teams are fighting for top positions in order to advance to the next stage.
Hydel's veteran coach, Geoffrey Maxwell, says that any top-of-the-table clash is of great significance.
"We are on top in the group, but Haile Selassie must be considered a team that can hurt us," Maxwell told The Gleaner yesterday.
"It is early days in the competition, and we are going through how we intend to play," Maxwell, who guided Hydel to the Manning Cup final in 2012, added.
expecting at least 1 point
Playing away, Maxwell is expecting at least a point from this encounter. "The worst for us would be a draw. The team has not been at full strength because of tactical reasons," he explained.
Maxwell is expecting leadership on the pitch from captain Dale Reid as well as former national Under-17 striker Nicholas Nelson.
Meanwhile, coach of Haile Selassie Michael 'Jah Mikes' Williams is oozing confidence ahead of the crucial contest.
"Well, we are behind Hydel by three points, so the aim is definitely to win. We are playing at home and coming all out for maximum points," Williams said.
He pointed out that due to lack of funding, the team did not have a good pre-season.
He added: "I think we can beat Hydel, but I expect a tactical game from Maxwell.
Captain Hamish Smith, Clive Bonner, and Ricardo Phipps should lead the way for Haile Selassie.
Papine vs Greater Portmore
Haile Selassie vs Hydel
Cumberland vs Dunoon Technical
Kingston Technical vs Ardenne
Denham Town vs Innswood
St George's vs Eltham
Ascot vs Norman Manley
Vauxhall vs Jonathan Grant
Excelsior vs Spanish Town
(Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.)