Rural players more talented - Wellington
Principal of ISSA/Flow Super Cup finalists St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Keith Wellington, believes rural-area players are more talented than their urban counterparts.
Wellington, who also serves on the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) executive, argued that urban area schoolboy footballers are only more experienced than rural players. noting that with the right investment - like that made at STETHS - rural players they can maximise their potential.
"The truth is that it's a lot more complex than what people would want to make it out. At the end of the day, it comes down to the results when these teams play each other, as I don't think either competition is much different from the other. What is evident is that the urban teams have an advantage in terms of the experience that they would have gathered in the various competitions that are played year round," said Wellington, who pointed to the fact that there are a lot of age-group competitions for Corporate Area-based players.
Of note, many of the top schools in the Manning Cup competition do recruit heavily from rural institutions, the opposite of what took place in the mid- to late '60s and '70s, when rural teams such as Vere Technical and Clarendon College regularly brought in talent from the Corporate Area.
STETHS have been the most consistent rural area team in the Super Cup, having progressed to the semi-finals every season since its inception in 2014, and Wellington believes the investment in his students have gone a far way, not just on the field, but with regards to the life lessons they would have learnt as well as the opportunities a number of them would have gotten to study abroad.
"Our investment is in the students who play sport, helping them to maximise their potential and make use of the opportunities available to them. I think the investment we placed in them, we would have gotten good returns, and I think the students succeeding in their general life is just as important," said Wellington.
Meanwhile, the administrator is expecting a good game between two teams that many supporters expect to see in the Olivier Shield as they were expect to end the season as respective rural and urban area champions.
However, both can only play for the ISSA/Flow Super Cup in order to try and end the season on a high and if STETHS can win today, they will help to silence the argument that rural teams are inferior to their urban rivals.
"It now becomes even more significant now that it's the only trophy we can win this year at the U-19 level. Bearing in mind that no daCosta
Cup team has ever won the FLOW Super Cup, it's added significance as it would be history accomplished," said Wellington.