Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
Former triple champions Glenmuir High are in rebuilding mode for this season and are unlikely to cause any sleepless nights for any team for the crucial second phase of the daCosta Cup.
But such is the reputation of trusted veteran coach, Patrick 'Jackie' Walters, the Clarendon team must not be written off. In schoolboy competitions, he has won titles in every decade at every school he has coached since 1978.
Walters was interviewed as he watched the final of the Jamalco Football League final last Saturday at Jamalco and despite conservative expectations for the season, he looked his calm and confident self.
"We are looking to introduce a couple of new players, but as always we start with the mindset we can challenge for the title," he told The Gleaner.
Though used to winning titles, the coach hasn't really figured prominently in the daCosta Cup over the past two seasons, as his last major success came in 2009 when his charges beat a strong Munro team 3-0 at STETHS to win the Ben Francis Cup.
On the departure list is his best player of the last three years, Paul 'Kiki' Wilson, who has since graduated to being a member of the national Under-20 squad.
Glenmuir have not recruited much, a departure from the early years when Walters left Clarendon College to take up his tenure in 2002. In fact, Walters disclosed the team comprises 95 per cent of players who have been at Glenmuir since first form.
most experienced player
The school's most experienced player is captain and goalkeeper Dane Chambers. Also retained is the unheralded Newell Johnson, who finished as the second leading goalscorer last season, beaten out by the impressive Brian Brown of champions Rusea's.
The core of the Glenmuir team should also revolve around Akeem Wilson, Christopher Jackson, Oneil Barrett and Ricardo Reid.
In terms of practice matches, Glenmuir's pre-season résumé is not impressive. The most notable team Glenmuir have beaten in pre-season is Manchester High (3-1).
They lost to Paul Bogle, a team Walters describes "as good and well coached", and trailed 1-3 in an aborted game at Petersfield, a team pundits elsewhere have said is capable of winning.
Walters doesnt seem perturbed by his team's form heading into the tournament as he has a different notion of practice games than most.
"You play practice matches, but the end result is not foremost, the most important thing is whether you are developing the team," he stated.
Glenmuir will play in preliminary Zone M which also has Denbigh, Garvey Maceo, Porus, Bustamante and Fogo.