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Haile Selassie aiming for all titles - Maxwell

Published:Monday | September 5, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Haile Selassie’s Clive Bonner (centre) challenges St George’s College’s Gregory Messam Jr for the ball, while goalkeeper Chevaun Bennet looks on during the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup football competition last season. Haile Selassie’s coach, Geoffrey Maxwell, says they will be challenging for all titles this season.

Buoyed by his Haile Selassie High ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup charges' "passion, commitment and pre-season exploits", veteran football tactician, Geoffrey Maxwell, aims to transfer a winning philosophy to his players and lead them to success in his first season at that institution.

Maxwell's most recent success story was leading Hydel High to the Manning Cup final in 2012. Previously, he led his alma mater, Excelsior High, to the Manning and Walker Cup titles in 1980, and the Walker Cup in 1979.

"I don't know about other coaches, but I am looking forward to winning all the trophies because I don't go into anything to participate, I go in to win," Maxwell underlined.

"If I went into the school (Haile Selassie) coaching the Colts Under-16s then I would be coaching development. I have not gone to Haile Selassie to develop players, I have gone there to win whatever trophy is in front of us and we will be challenging for Manning Cup, Walker Cup, Super Cup and Olivier Shield," the former national coach warned.

As a much-travelled coach at the high school and club level, Maxwell says his methods differ from his counterparts.

"My style is not just about getting a team 100 percent fit, but to understand my system of play and to know they are representing not only their school, but community," he explained.


He added that his charges have showed good results in training and pre-season practice, which saw them compete and beat a Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) League club.

"I think the team is around 75 percent ready, which is good. I am quite happy and comfortable with where we are. There is a very strong commitment; I think they have realised that I am not one of those coaches to play with," he reasoned.

Maxwell's will lock horns with last season's semi-finalists, Jonathan Grant, Meadowbrook, St Catherine High and Ardenne High in Group D.

"I've watched a few other Manning Cup teams play practice matches and based on what I have seen, if we play to our true potential and have a perfect day we can win the Manning Cup. But it's a matter of, on the day, how we perform. We are confident we can beat anybody on our best day," Maxwell told The Gleaner.