Tivoli return to new-look Edward Seaga Complex
Tivoli Gardens Football Club's head coach, Omar Edwards, said that playing in front of home support for the first time this Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season will be added motivation for the players.
Tivoli are scheduled to host new team, Sandals South Coast, tomorrow at the Edward Seaga Complex, starting at 3 p.m.
The west Kingston-based club's field went under extensive resurfacing work during the summer and was not ready for the start of the season in September.
They replaced the soil, sand and an irrigation system with new grass. The field was recently passed by the Jamaica Football Federation inspection team.
"We know that playing at home should be additional motivation. It can also be a pressure situation in front of Tivoli supporters who can be very demanding," Edwards said yesterday.
"However, we will focus on the positive as every team wants to play on their home ground," he added.
Tivoli started the season shakily with losses away to Reno and Arnett Gardens by similar 1-0 margins. The five-time national champions earned their first point in a 1-1 draw against Portmore United three weeks ago. They then improved with back-to-back victories against Harbour View and Cavalier in their last two encounters.
"After a slow start, we are not doing badly We have managed to keep back-to-back clean sheets in 1-0 wins against Harbour View and Cavalier," he reasoned.
Although promoted Sandals have not won a game yet, Edwards believes that they will be dangerous opponents and cannot be treated lightly.
"We are looking forward to playing Sandals who are a team that is very hungry for a win in the league. We cannot afford to be complacent," Edwards shared.
Tivoli Gardens will be missing veteran Reggae Boy attacker Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson and also Elton Thompson due to injuries.
Johnson who was the league's golden boot award winner last season watched his team's 1-0 victory against Cavalier from the sidelines. He picked up a knee injury in the game against Harbour View on October 16.
Thompson has not played since the new season started but is back in training and expected to play soon.