Reynolds working on Ruseas' mental strength
Vassell Reynolds, head coach of defending daCosta Cup schoolboy champions Rusea's High, said he is working on the team's mentality to retain the title.
With the competition scheduled to start early September, Reynolds, who guided the Hanover-based institution to their 10th title in his first year in charge, is working on psychological and mental preparation for the tough road ahead.
"We started preparation about eight weeks ago and are making some amount of progress. However, I am still not satisfied with some individuals at this stage, three weeks before the start of the daCosta Cup competition," Reynolds told The Gleaner after his team was beaten 5-0 by Red Stripe Premier League outfit Waterhouse last Saturday morning at the Drewsland Stadium.
"I am a little bit concerned about some players, but [we are] making progress. We are fine-tuning some things by playing practice games. We have played Premier League opponents to work on off-the-ball movements," he explained.
Reynolds is fully aware that there will be pressure on his team.
"There is always pressure to perform, especially when you are champions, from a psychological perspective and otherwise. The players are fully aware, but we always expect people to perform whenever they wear the Russian jersey," he shared.
"We have been spending a lot of time on our psychological and mental preparation. We had session, with some professionals, and we are doing strides where that is concerned," Reynolds added.
"The focus is to get a good start in the preliminary stage. We are aiming to be about 75 per cent ready for the start of competition. The next two weeks are very important to us in terms of where we are. However, we don't want to peak too early. You don't win the title in September. The first aim is to make it to the next round as October is when you are tested.
"Once we get the team ready in the preliminary stage, we will be ok. You can't win the title in September, but you could lose it. We have to be focused match by match to get out of the preliminary stage," he further stated.
Reynolds is looking for some players from last year's squad to play a big role.
"We are sure of some core players like Rasheed Brown, Bobby Brown, Omar Clemenson, Kenroy Campbell, and a few others. We have a core of seven players from last year's squad," he concluded.