Wed | Aug 21, 2019

All out war! - Portmore, Waterhouse midfield enforcers expect keenly contested RSPL final

Published:Monday | April 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Portmore United goalkeeper Shaven Paul (left foreground) going through training drills with teammates at Spry Training on Dunrobin Avenue, St Andrew, on Wednesday morning ahead of tonight’s Red Stripe Premier League grand final clash with Waterhouse FC at the National Stadium.
Waterhouse FC head coach Donovan Duckie giving winger Allan Ottey (left) tactical instructions, while Keithy Simpson (centre) looks on under the setting sun during Wednesday’s training session at the Drewsland Stadium, ahead of tonight’s Red Stripe Premier League final against Portmore United.

Midfield enforcers Ewan Grandison of Portmore United and Keithy Simpson of Waterhouse have been the driving forces in getting their teams into the Red Stripe Premier League grand final at the National Stadium this evening.

Simpson, Waterhouse's midfield work horse, insists that all the pressure is on Portmore, who are on their third consecutive trip to the final after leaving the last two times empty handed. He said that his side is coming with what he describes as a "free spirit", and that they are 100 per cent confident of victory.

"It's one of the biggest pressures they (Portmore United) have on their back. That can cost them as much as it can give them it. They are a good team, a suave team. We are the dark horses, the underdogs, so we are going into the game with a free spirit to play and do what is needed to win.," Simpson told The Gleaner.




But Grandison, Portmore's midfield hardman and captain, said that there is no pressure and that they have pushed the disappointment of the last two seasons to the back of their minds and are focused on staking their claim as the best football team in the land. "We easily put things (past finals defeats) behind us. We have been to three consecutive finals and we still have not got the trophy yet. But we are under no pressure. We are just focused on what we have to do," he said.

Meanwhile, Simpson argues that what a team does on the day is what will truly matter, and he is confident he and his teammates will deliver tonight.

"In my team, anybody can do it on the day. But as long as the coach puts me out there, he knows why he put me out there, and I know as well. So I am going to drive my team as hard as I can and fight with them for 90-plus minutes to make sure that when the game is finished, we gave everything.

"All that we have learnt throughout the season was from coach (Donovan) Duckie. We are going to leave all that on the pitch and the result will follow," he said.

But Grandison said that they are ready for anything that the in-form Waterhouse and their astute coach Duckie might have up his sleeve.

"I am not sure how the individual battles will be won, but we are ready for anything they throw at us. I am a motivator, and I am in the middle of the field, so I really cannot stop playing. I have to continue pushing the team going forward," he said.

"Heading into the game, everybody is cool and calm and focused. We are ready, and once the players come and give 100 per cent, the trophy will be ours," Grandison stated.