Clarendon, Lennon face-off in daCosta opener
REIGNING ISSA daCosta Cup champions Clarendon College will begin their title defence today when they go up against parish rivals Lennon High in the curtain-raiser for the 2023 schoolboy football season. Match time is set for 3 p.m. at the National Stadium.
Clarendon College, 10-time winners of the rural area trophy, are drawn in Group H alongside Lennon, Claude McKay High, Kellits High, Edwin Allen High and Thompson Town High. Experienced coach Lenworth Hyde of Clarendon College said that, based on how pre-season preparations went, the team is in good stead and they are eager to retain their crown.
“The players are ready as pre-season preparations were good. We are looking forward to today’s game as we are all ready to go. We are eager to retain the trophy and we have to try our best to do even better than what we did last year. I’m hoping that the new players can adapt quickly to the system as we (coaches) continue to develop these new players,” Hyde said.
Coach Hyde also stated that he is aware of the fact that defending a title, especially in the daCosta Cup, isn’t an easy feat to accomplish, as the other schools keep getting better over time.
“The other teams are improving and they want to win also. So we have to step up our game and we have to try and maintain the discipline within the squad, if we want to retain the title,” Hyde stated.
Lennon High, who will guided by former player Odain Brown, said Lennon versus Clarendon College has always been a tough and entertaining encounter.
“The clash is always a nail-biting one, so we have to prepare ourselves to compete over the 90 minutes,” Brown shared.
Lennon’s squad will boast a number of ‘young players’ but, despite the inexperience, coach Brown is eyeing making it out of a tough Group H.
“It’s mostly a young crop of players, a lot of 14 and 15-year-olds, but they are hard-working and willing to learn. For the last couple seasons, we haven’t advanced from our group, as our group has always been tough,” Brown added.