Do or die clash for Humble Lion
One finalist of the 2016-2017 Red Stripe Premier League will be decided today at the third time of asking when Humble Lion and Arnett Gardens meet at Effortville Community Centre.
After last week's 11-minute teaser of an attempt at the second leg, both teams will do it today for real and the Donovan Duckie, coach of home team Humble Lion, believes that they are much more prepared for battle now. This after suffering a 1-2 loss away in the first leg.
"We are ready and waiting now. I think the additional week has not hurt us and the good thing is that, at least, last week we started the game and played a bit. Before that, we were idle for quite a bit while Arnett Gardens were coming off two big games. That made them more prepared because no amount of simulation can count as the real thing," explained Duckie whose team ended the regular season with most points and collected a $1m bonus prize.
While his team was affected, like most of the island, by the inclement weather, Duckie said he 'pushed his team to the max' in training.
"The preparations have been good despite the inclement weather. Everyone is fit and ready. We know what we have to do. It is a do or die. They are very focused and are mentally ready," added Duckie, who is gunning to give Humble Lion their first hold on the title.
Jerome Waite, coach of Arnett Gardens and the man who has led them to three of their four titles, including their last success in 2015, is similarly confident.
"The team is pretty confident. They are saying that they are looking forward to stepping up to make the difference that we need to close off this victory," Waite said.
He added: " While we are confident, we do not expect this to be an easy game as they are the number one team and they are playing at home. We expect it to be physical because they (Humble Lion) have to do everything possible to get back in it. We are ahead, so it is for them now to try to be level with us to begin with, so it will be hard work for both teams."
Marvin Morgan, Vishinul Harris and man of the moment Fabian Reid have been key players for Arnett Gardens in this stage of the competition and they will need to report in similar form and be backed up by the likes of captain O'Neil Thompson, a focused Renae Lloyd and Kemal Malcolm.
Humble Lion have, perhaps, the deepest team in the league and will be relying on Francois Swaby, Levaughn Williams, the crafty Wolry Wolfe and Hugh Howell to anchor their midfield.
- 3 p.m.: Humble Lion vs Arnett Gardens - Effortville Community Centre