Gilbert, Dinthill ready for CC - Clarendon face McGrath in other daCosta Cup semi
Xavier Gilbert, coach of Dinthill Technical High School, said he is somewhat over the recent passing of his female football team club captain and is in good stead for today’s ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup semi-finals.
Dinthill will face Cornwall College (CC) in the 6:00 p.m. feature of a Montego Bay Sports Complex-double header. At 4:00 p.m., in the early kickoff, defending champions Clarendon College will battle history-making McGrath High, who will be playing in their first-ever daCosta Cup semi-final.
Reggae Girl Tarania ‘Plum Plum’ Clarke, who Gilbert coached at Waterhouse FC and Excelsior High School, was stabbed to death less than 48 hours before Dinthill’s round-of-16 ISSA Champions Cup match on November 1. In that game, Dinthill lost 4-3 on penalties to Excelsior after a 0-0 regulation-time draw.
Gilbert admitted that Clarke’s tragic passing really affected him but noted that with time to get his head space right, he was really looking forward to this evening’s game.
“Yes, it definitely affected me personally. As you know, we were very close …. I couldn’t sleep the night before [the game] because [that same day] I spoke to her, and she had planned to come to the game, so of course, it had some effect on me,” Gilbert said.
“However, with some time, [I] still haven’t healed properly, but nevertheless, life goes on. Somewhat, I have put some of it behind me, and I am looking to move forward, so I’m in good stead right now,” he added.
Gilbert, whose aim is to break Dinthill’s 37-year title drought, is aware of the threat CC brings but is looking to exploit their weaknesses.
“[This is] A very good Cornwall College team; they move the ball around and play well as a unit. We just have to curtail their strengths and exploit any weaknesses that are available in the day,” Gilbert said.
“Yes, there are a number of things (weaknesses) that we see. I’m hopeful that our plans can work, we get the job done and move on to the finals,” he added.
Dinthill have had over a week off and will be well-rested. On the other hand, CC, who are coming off a 3-2 penalties win over St George’s College in the Champions Cup on Saturday at the same venue, could come into the game much more match-sharp.