Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Kingston College (KC), Norman Manley High and Bridgeport, three teams considered to have an outside chance of winning the ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup this season, will open their account today.
Norman Manley are expected to get the better of the lesser-known Greater Portmore in what could turn out to be a one-sided affair at Maxfield Park, with coach Miguel Coley expressing confidence ahead of the encounter.
"We should give a very good account of ourselves this season," said Coley, who listed Andrew McLeod, Jamar Green, Romario Nelson, Oshane Roberts as players to watch this season.
"We have been working hard and the level of discipline is quite good and the further we go in the competition the harder we will be to beat," he added.
Close to a month ago KC had to deal with the resignation of former coach Trevor 'Jumpy' Harris.
The North Street hopefuls, who for the past two seasons have been a force to reckon with, will be without three of their main players from last season - Jorghino James, Tazio Gilpin and Jason Greenland - who opted to transfer to Wolmer's Boys' sixth form, when they host Meadowbrook at Clovelly Park.
"I have been with the team now for close to three weeks and what I see here is a fair amount of talent," said new coach Donovan 'DV' Hayles.
"What we are doing at this stage is to look to pick up as the season progresses and should we advance from the first round we could do a lot of damage," he noted, before listing Kyle Smith, Allan Morgan, O'Brian Duncan and Aldare Steele as their main players.
Bridgeport, who will also be sporting a new coach following the departure of long-standing coach, Anthony Patrick, who has moved on to Clarendon College in the rural-area daCosta Cup, are aiming at a winning start against perennial strugglers Haile Selassie.
Patrick has been replaced by Tyrone Roberts, who used to coach the school's Under-16 team, and who despite not writing off Haile Selassie, is confident of making a winning start.
"We are looking forward to coming out of the first round and make at least the second round," said Roberts.
"We have the potential to do things and if we play to ability we could pull off some surprises."
Roberts expects leading performances from Ramone Howell, Nico Williams, Ryan Swyer and Luther White.
Norman Manley vs Greater Portmore
Bridgeport vs Haile Selassie
Tivoli vs Innswood
Donald Quarrie vs Jose Marti
Oberlin vs St Andrew College
STATHS vs Pembroke Hall
KC vs Meadowbrook