Manchester hopeful for new season
Coach of Manchester High School's daCosta Cup team, Andrew Edwards, is pleased with where his players are after they took the STETHS (St Elizabeth Technical High School) Cup title with a 2-1 win over Garvey Maceo High School at the STETHS Sports Complex on Sunday. Edwards described winning the preseason trophy as an index of his team's preparation.
"We targeted this tournament to measure ourselves against what we consider to be perennial contenders for the daCosta Cup championship. We have never won it before and winning this (STETHS Cup) doesn't indicate that we will win. However, what it does indicate is that we are in a very good state of preparation.
"If we can maintain the work that we are doing, keep our foot on the ground and stay level-headed, great things are possible. We know that we have some weaknesses. However, we have a couple of weeks before the real part of the competition gets going, so we hope to fix those things. Having said that, we still have to get past the preliminary round. Hopefully, we can achieve something better than what we have in the past," he added.
Edwards said that the team managed to retain a number of players from the squad that made it to the quarter finals of the daCosta Cup last year.
"We retained a good number of players, about 15 in total, but not many of them would have played regularly through the season last year," he said. "We try to be very open with all the players, help them to understand what role they will be playing, what the expectations of them are, and ask that they give of their very best each time they step on to the pitch."
Edwards also said that he is not offended by the comment made by STETHS principal Keith Wellington last week that "now schools like Manchester High can finally win a trophy," because of changes made to the Ben Francis Cup.
"The fact of the matter is that everybody enters wanting to win the daCosta Cup. However, the way the competition is structured, now there is a consolation of the Ben Francis. We will not be aiming for the Ben Francis, but if that is what we can get, we will take it and be happy about it."