JC brace for tough Manning Cup opener
Jamaica College kick off the defence of their FLOW/ISSA Manning Cup title this afternoon, when they take on a confident St Andrew Technical in the opening games of a schoolboy football with a double-header at the Montego Bay Sports complex starting at 4.00pm.
Jamaica College won their fourth straight Manning Cup title last year under coach Miguel Coley, and after retaining key players such as Tyreke McGhee, Maleek Howell, Norman Campbell and Deverone Simpson, Coley not only expects a positive start but believes this team has the potential to replicate what they did last year or go even better.
However, he anticipates a very difficult opening match against STATHS.
"I am expecting a tough game, STATHS is a much better team than last year, so I am expecting a tough game.
"Technically we are very good, physically they are getting stronger, tactically they are learning and mentally we are spending a lot of time with them. It's a well-rounded team and how we transition from attack to defense and from defence to attack is going to be very important," he stated.
"We have always been efficient, always play tough football and we always try to play good football. We have players who have won the Manning Cup, players who have leadership qualities. So we are looking for a good result and we will go for three points even though it will be a tough game."
Meanwhile, after a lacklustre season last year, St Andrew Technical are hoping to make a big statement starting on the opening day and coach Phillip Williams says his side is 'confident' they can take the champions.
"The team in camp has a lot of confidence going into the match. They worked hard over the summer and the result from the practice matches were very encouraging," he said
"We know it will not be easy going up against the defending champion in the opening game, but we are looking for a positive result.
We know JC on their day they are very hard to beat, but our confidence is very high and hopefully this will be carried out in the game tomorrow and right through the season."
National under-17 and Cavalier goalkeeper, Jaydean White, is their captain and main player.
"He will be leading, hopefully they will draw from his experience both at the schoolboy and senior level. Hopefully he leads from the front and keep some clean sheets. In terms of goals we are looking at Jevaugny Johnson, Oneil Hayden and Shamair Gayle. These are the players who should carry most of the goals for us," added Williams.