Stronger St George’s College looking to deliver in Manning Cup
Ahead of Thursday's opening clash with Tivoli Gardens High School at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex, St George's College (STGC) assistant coach Marcel 'Fuzzy' Gayle is pointing to a more "physical game" and killer instinct to STGC's play this year, which could make the difference and help them win their 20th Manning Cup title in the ISSA-FLOW competition.
The North Street-based school won the FLOW Super Cup last year, but were beaten Manning Cup finalists, going down 0-1 to arch-rivals Jamaica College.
Gayle says he is not mindful about who the favourites are this season, but notes his team is expected to not just compete, "but play their natural game, entertain and win".
"I think, last year, if we were more stronger physically, the outcome would have been different; and we spent a little bit more time on the physical aspect of the game, passing the ball around, and we want to be a little bit more stronger and win more physical encounters so we can endure the duration of the competition," Gayle highlighted.
DISAPPOINTMENTS BEHIND THEM
The light blues, who were heavily touted as title favourites last season by virtue of outscoring all teams, also fell in the Walker Cup final on penalties to Wolmer's Boys'. This year, Gayle says those disappointments are behind them.
"We are fully motivated because St George's College always goes out there and just play. We have retained 60 per cent of the squad from last year, with the inclusion of two outside players. It's a good set up. The guys are carrying a little bit more stability to the squad, so we are ready now," Gayle told The Gleaner.
He tipped last season's leading goalscorer, Alex Marshall, to get the goals again this year.
"Every game is going to be a tough one. When our opponents hear the name of St George's College, they always try to go out and play their best game against us, so we are looking forward to a tough match against Tivoli Gardens at Tivoli," he reasoned.
"For the last four or five years, we have been scoring over 40 goals, and this year, we will see if we can repeat the same," he stressed.