Jamaica College determined to extend reign
Having won five straight Manning Cup titles, schoolboy football fans may believe the Jamaica College (JC) football train is starting to run out of steam.
However, manager of the football programme at the Old Hope Road institution, Ian Forbes, says the winning culture they have fostered over the years is still turning over the engine rapidly and he expects his side to win their sixth straight title this season.
According to Forbes, the winning culture was on full display last season when they wrapped up seven of eight schoolboy football titles with their under-16 team, which is expected to play a big role in their Manning Cup title hunt this year, claiming two of those crowns.
"We have a blend of youth and experience in this year's team and we have a system that produces talent, and they have been coming through with flying colours, and we expect them to step up to this level and do well," Forbes told The Gleaner.
"Almost half of that under-16 team from last year will be featuring for us this year in the Manning Cup. We have a seamless programme at Jamaica College and it starts at the under-14 and go all the way up to the under-19. So, the boys are prepared to go out and battle but we are taking it one game at a time."
JC has lost a number of individuals who played vital roles for them over the past three seasons, including coach Miguel Coley.
"Coley is an exceptional coach and human being but it was not a Coley thing, it is a Jamaica College thing and, of course, he is still in touch because he is our technical director," Forbes explained. "Our new coach (Andrew Peart) has been working with us for the last seven years so he knows the system and knows what is expected."
At 3:30 p.m. today, JC will take on Hydel High School in their opening game of the competition at their school field.
"We are going to play some attractive football tomorrow (today) and get the season off the right way," Forbes said.
JC have won the Manning Cup a record 29 times.
Last year's beaten semi-finalists, Holy Trinity, will also open their campaign today against Waterford High School at Waterford.
Many-time champion,Wolmer's Boys' School will take on Jose MartÌ High in Spanish Town.