Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Clarendon College behind on DaCosta Cup preparation

Published:Thursday | October 28, 2021 | 1:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
HYDE
HYDE
Raheim Heaven (left) of Cornwall College  shields the ball from Clarendon College’s Omar Reid during their ISSA Champions Cup semi-final matchup at the National Stadium on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
Raheim Heaven (left) of Cornwall College shields the ball from Clarendon College’s Omar Reid during their ISSA Champions Cup semi-final matchup at the National Stadium on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
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With less than two weeks to go before the start of the DaCosta Cup, Clarendon College head coach Lenworth Hyde says that the reigning champions are behind in their preparation.

ISSA, the governing body for secondary-school sports, announced on Monday that it has been given approval by the Government to go ahead with this year’s competition under strict COVID-19 protocols.

The DaCosta Cup, which is contested by rural-area schools, is set to get under way on November 13. The Manning Cup competition, which is contested by schools from the Corporate Area, is set to begin on November 12.

Both competitions were originally scheduled to begin in September, but they were forced to reschedule due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. In fact, the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyde said that the school is trying its best to put a system in place to assist with the readiness of the players.

“The preparations have been very poor because the players were not coming to training, and they were all over the place and we could not find some of them,” Hyde said.

“Most of our players are from Kingston and St Andrew, and we were not boarding due to COVID-19, so it is just now that we are starting up something to get everybody back down at the school.

“However, we are just doing what we can do with whoever turns up, so it wasn’t a good preseason for us. I don’t think we will be ready in time, but we are trying our best, and this means that we will have to put in a lot of extra work in training over the next two weeks, to see if we can get our chemistry together.”

Hyde said that they have only retained three players from the team that defeated Dinthill Technical 3-0 in the final to win the 2019 title.

However, he said that they have quite a few talented players who have been reassigned from their under-16 squad to the senior team this season.

“We will be going out there to defend our title with what we have, but it is not a guarantee that we will do it,” he said. “I don’t know how the rest of teams did in the preseason, but from my understanding, some of them had the same issues like us, so we just have to go in there and enjoy the competition and have fun.”

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com