Excelsior, Jamaica College ready for action
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Former champions and favourites Jamaica College (JC) and Excelsior High will kick off their quest to win this year's Inter-Secondary Schools Association (ISSA)/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup competition today.
JC will host St Catherine-based Cumberland in the Group A match at Old Hope Road and Excelsior entertain Papine at the Courtney Walsh Oval in Group C. Both matches start at 3 p.m.
Excelsior, who last won back-to-back Manning Cup titles in the 2003-04 season, are expected get the better of their less-fancied opponent, who was one of the beating sticks in last year's competition.
The Lebert Halliman-coached Excelsior, was also a semi-finalist in last year's competition and have retained the services of national Under-20 striker Neco Brett, along with Lynden Reid and Javaughn Benjamin.
However, the Mountain View-based team have endured a number of setbacks in their preparations heading into this season's competition, but according to Halliman, he is confident his team can collect all three points in today's fixture.
"We want to get off to a positive start because our zone is a very competitive one, but we just hope to go out there, play good football and ensure that we get all three points," said Halliman.
Meanwhile JC, who last won the title in 2007, have retained a number of their star players from last season, including striker Ashani Walker, Shamal Thomas and Odane Greenswood.
Group A: Oberlin vs Kingston High, Jamaica College vs Cumberland, Waterford vs St Mary's College.
Group C: Charlie Smith vs St Andrew College, Innswood vs Kingston Technical, Excelsior vs Papine.