Thu | Jul 18, 2019

Chasing history - Reynolds, Rusea's seek back-to-back success

Published:Saturday | September 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Rusea's Leonardo Fogart (right) comes under pressure from STETHS' Nicholas Nelson during the semi-finals of the daCosta Cup at the Montego Bay Sports Complex last season. Rusea's won 5-2.

Vassell Reynolds, coach of defending daCosta Cup champions Rusea's High School, says that he is looking to go one better than western rivals Cornwall College, with both successfully defending the daCosta Cup title on four separate occasions.

The 2018 schoolboy football season will kick off with a double-header at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall. At 3 p.m., the defending Manning Cup champions, Jamaica College, will take on Hydel High School before defending daCosta Cup kings Rusea's battle Green Island High School at 6 p.m. The day will also feature 29 other matches in the daCosta Cup competition.

"It means everything to the school community, the fans at large in Lucea, and in western Jamaica that the team come out on top of their western rivals. The fans will want to establish bragging rights in their own way, hence to win would give them that sense of pride and gratitude," said Reynolds.

"The match pits two long-time rivals, and to us, it is important to come out on top. It is important we remain mentally and psychologically steadfast in our effort to get a positive result, not just in the first encounter, but also throughout the competition in our quest to defend the title," Reynolds added.

Reynolds, who would carve his name in history as the first coach to win back-to-back daCosta Cup titles in his first two years in charge if his Rusea's goes on to lift the title again this season, said that would be a very fulfilling feat.

"It would be very special for me to achieve such a feat, and this is one of my personal aims. As coaches, we dedicate ourselves to the development of these youngsters, and by extension, Jamaica's football. Hence, winning should come with gratitude and self-fulfilment," said Reynolds.


No clear favourite


In addition to his route to the title defence, Reynolds was asked about his overall expectation of the 2018 daCosta Cup season, especially with the recent changes and increased investment from sponsors.

"Based on what I have seen over the past six or seven weeks, there will be no clear favourite. A couple of the usual top teams are rebuilding while others have made steps to improve the level of performance. I also believe this year's competition might be one of the most competitive in years. However, at the end of the day, though, I strongly feel it will come down to the usual central versus west, geographically, with a few upsets here and there," said Reynolds.