Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Fresh from their 1-0 win over Waterford in their opening game, preseason favourites Camperdown will be aiming to secure another victory when they oppose Jamaica College (JC) in today's feature game of the ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup competition at the Bellevue Lands, starting at 3 p.m.
In the group's other game, Mona will entertain Waterford at Mona.
Camperdown and JC met twice in the preliminary round of last season's competition, with the former coming away with a 1-0 in their season opener. However, JC bounced back to win the return game 2-0 on home turf. Today's encounter is expected to be a very exciting affair as both teams are evenly matched in all departments.
THREE PLAYERS RETAINED
The Christopher Bender-coached Camperdown, quarter-finalists in last year's competition, have retained three players from last season's unit, including striker Akeem Smith, who netted the lone goal in their victory over Waterford. They have also retained Mario Ward and Shavar Henry, who were key members of last year's team.
"We are playing at home so we are expected to win," said Bender. "The team is young because we have only retained three starters from last season, but I am confident that we can come away with a victory against JC."
Bender added that his team is very focused on today's game because they have been preparing mentally and physically for it.
"The team showed me on Tuesday that they are determined and they have the desire to win," Bender said.
JC, winners of the title in 2010, will go into their opening game against Camperdown oozing confidence. Assistant coach Delroy Brown said his team will be seeking a comprehensive victory against their opponents.
"Our objective is to get three points because we have to ensure that we get a good start in the competition," Brown said.
He added that his team is unaware of their opponents' strengths and weaknesses, and therefore they will not be taking them lightly.
"We know nothing about the Camperdown team," Brown said. "We have a certain standard that we play, and so we just have to go out there and execute what we have been doing in practice.
National Under-17 striker Junior Flemming is the main man for JC. His support will come from Tevin Simpson, Andrew Riley, Kevin Blackwood and André Bingham.
Norman Manley vs Penwood
Papine vs Excelsior
Camperdown vs Jamaica College
Mona vs Waterford
Denham Town vs St George's College
Hydel vs Dunoon
Clan Carthy vs Cumberland
Holy Trinity vs Spanish Town
Ascot vs Jonathan Grant