Mon | Feb 24, 2020

Upbeat Waterhouse look to put on a show - FLOW Concacaf ­Caribbean Club Championship on at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex

Published:Wednesday | January 29, 2020 | 12:33 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Sports Writer
Waterhouse FC coach Marcel Gayle
Colorado Murray (left) will be one of the key men for Waterhouse FC.
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Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) leaders Waterhouse will begin the battle for Caribbean supremacy when they face Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic in their opening Group A game of the Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex this evening at 7 o’clock.

This year’s competition has been expanded from a four-team single table round-robin format to a six-team group stage structure where the clubs will be separated into two groups. The top two teams from each group will proceed directly to the semi-finals which are scheduled for early May.

The Marcel Gayle-coached Waterhouse who finished second in the tournament last year are keen to go one step beyond this time around and Gayle says they are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to display their talents to a wider audience.

“We are upbeat, we are confident. We are looking forward to putting on a show [tonight],” Gayle told The Gleaner.

Waterhouse have had time to recuperate and recharge from league play after their 3-1 win over Dunbeholden last Friday night. Gayle said his team has taken the necessary steps to ensure that they are ready to compete on multiple fronts and know that they cannot waste the opportunity to represent Jamaican football well.

“We have been doing things to prepare for this encounter. We understand the magnitude of what is at stake but we are focused and we know what we have to do,” he said. “If you are playing football locally this is where you want to showcase your talent at the highest level. We are looking at how we can we can showcase what we have in the country. This is the stage where every coach, players want to go out there and play good football.”

Cibao are coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlético Pantoja in their last match but were in fairly good form at the back end of last year. They posted four consecutive victories which included a 2-1 win over Atlético Pantoja in the Dominican Republic’s top league.

Waterhouse’s second-place finish qualified them for the 2019 Concacaf League where they went all the way to the quarter-finals before being beaten by Honduran champions Montagua. Reigning champions Portmore United will begin the defence of their title next week Wednesday against the reigning Dominican Republic champions Atlético Pantoja in their Group B fixture at the same venue. While Gayle says that his side is eager to get revenge on Portmore in the competition, they will not take their eyes off the objective in front of them which is to qualify for the next round.

“We want to get the better of Portmore but we have to take it in stages,” he said. “These two games right now are important and we have to do what we have to do to go to the next round.”

Waterhouse will play Haitian club Don Bosco FC in their final group game on Sunday.