Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Number one seeding boosts Trinity's title ambitions

Published:Friday | October 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp
Holy Trinity High’s coach, Devon ‘Pablo’ Anderson (centre), at an ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup training session at the school’s playing field yesterday.
Shai Smith of Holy Trinity (left) and and Andre Thomas of St Jago High battling for the ball during a Manning Cup match at Bell Chung Oval on Tuesday, October 3.
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Holy Trinity High now have added motivation to win the ISSA/FLOW Manning title for the first time after they were ranked the number one seeds entering the new second round format for the competition.

Under the new format, the group winners, the runners-up in each group and the best two second places were seeded by ranking points.

The teams have been drawn based on points and play in a home-and-away tie in the second round. The winners of each second round tie (on aggregate) will move on to the quarter-final stage, where they will be placed in two groups

At the completion of the quarter-final group games, the winners and runners-up in each group will advance to the semi-finals. The semi-final winners will then play in the Manning Cup final.

And, after topping Group F on 28 points from ten games, scoring 50 times and conceding just five goals, Holy Trinity's head coach Devon 'Pablo' Anderson is confident that the school can win the Manning Cup after a third place finish in 2016.

"To be honest it is just like another day for me. That is my personal feeling. However, the accomplishment of the boys is good. They are excited, but not over- excited as they know the work towards the title has just started," Anderson who has been at Holy Trinity since 2012 told The Gleaner yesterday.

"I am trying to keep them grounded, not to get overconfident. We have not won the Manning Cup, so I try to play it (top seeding) down as much as possible. We entered the competition this season with a set of young inexperienced players mixed with a few players from last year," he added.

"I have a recipe for success with a few persons working with me such as Dr Andre McDonald of SureTime Medical and Dr Leighton Walters who is also a coach and has been with us since 2012.

"I am a hard task master. I mark very hard even with my own kids. It is just a part of me. Getting the top ranking is not a surprise to me, because in August we went to the Knox Cup in Manchester and tried some things with them and realised that I was under-estimating the boys, without our captain Shai Smith who was abroad

"Trust me, I realised that I have a gold mine working with, so I pushed them. And from the season started we have been getting early goals and in cruise control for the games. I am proud of the guys, although I am yet to tell them.

"I believe the team has the capability to win the title with a lot of scorers like captain Shai Smith, Phillion Lawrence, Dillon McEnnis, Nathan Thomas, Dante Green, goalkeepers Kevon Ricketts and central defender Fabrizzo Burton Antonio Millington. We have a good squad," he pointed out.

"We don't get the corporate support. But, Dr McDonald goes all out to support us. We need a proper nutrition programme and we don't have a good field to train on. But we continue to work miracles. If we get full support for the football programme, Holy Trinity will be successful."

Holy Trinity apart, the other second round qualifiers are Wolmer's Boys, Jamaica College, Kingston College, St Andrew Technical High, Bridgeport High, Camperdown High, Hydel High, St George's College. St Catherine High, Excelsior High, Calabar High, Charlie Smith High and either Eltham High or Haile Selassie High.

The second round is set to kick-off tomorrow.