Cavalier's young guns face tough Tivoli Gardens
Cavalier Football Club have lit up the 2017-2018 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season with their refreshing style of football and their willingness to involve and trust young players.
All of that will be fiercely examined today when they host the more seasoned Tivoli Gardens FC in the first leg of their quarter-final encounter at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex. Both teams have met three times this season, with Tivoli Gardens winning twice, while the other was drawn, but Cavalier coach Rudolph Speid is counting on his players to get it right when it matters most.
"When we did our homework and looked at the record against them over the last three years, they have won six and drawn four of the last 10 encounters that we have had. That speaks positively for them, but when we look further at our respective records against the other teams, we have done better.
"For us to get one point from three encounters and they ended up with two points above us, that says something positive about us, and, yes, I know football is all about matchups, but we have picked up some things from our analysis and will capitalise on it," Speid said.
Tivoli Gardens' Omar Edwards has looked at this year's statistics in the matchups between the two teams and has arrived at his own conclusions.
"Psychologically, it gives the team a boost knowing that we have played them three times and got good results. That aside though, they have good players, young, exiting ones, and we are hoping that it will continue.
"I am pretty confident that once the team goes out there and follows the tactical direction, I am pretty positive that we will leave with a favourable result," said Edwards.
Edwards' team will be without the injured trio of Colorado Murray, Shavar Campbell, and Rodico Wellington. He will, therefore, count on the veteran Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson to lead the line, with support from Andre Moulton, Junior McGregor, and Tevin Shaw, with captain and central defender Romaine Brackenridge expected to anchor the defensive unit.
QUALITY IN DEPTH
"I believe there is quality in depth. Even with the players out, we should have adequate players who will be able to do the job for us," Edwards posited.
Speid, on the other hand, will rely on the offensive threat of his team led by captain Chevone Marsh and include Alex Marshall, Nicholas Hamilton, Paul Wilson, and Kaheem Parris. The much-improved Jahmoi Topey should feature in the backline while former national youth player David Mitchell should continue in goal for the team formerly referred to as the Duncan Destroyers.
"Our top five are five of the better attacking players in one team in the entire league. Only Portmore United probably can match us in that department," a confident Speid said in reference to the attacking quintet of Marsh, Hamilton, Marshall, Wilson, and Parris, adding that they would recover their scoring touch.
- 6 p.m.: Cavalier vs Tivoli Gardens - Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex
- 8:35 p.m.: Harbour View vs Waterhouse - Harbour View Stadium