Thomas not worried by Portmore inactivity

June 09, 2018
Portmore United coach Shavar Thomas.
Ricardo Makyn/Multimedia Photo Editor Portmore United's Ricardo Morris (left) is tackled by Waterhouse's Cardel Benbow during the Red Stripe Premier League final at the National Stadium on Monday April 23.
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Portmore United head coach Shavar Thomas said the football off season will not affect his team's preparation for the 2018 CONCACAF league.

Portmore have been drawn to play Santos de Guapiles of Costa Rica in the CONCACAF round of 16 game two-leg tie on August 1 in Costa Rica, with the return game set for August 9 in Jamaica.

Thomas said Portmore United have strong ambitions to do well in the inaugural tournament and advance to the CONACAF Champions League. He expects the club's players to keep themselves in good enough physical condition until they are summoned for preseason, which is set to begin July 1.

"The off season won't affect our preparation (for CONACACAF League) because we have professional players who we expect to be in some form of condition when we start our on the field preparation. So we are not worried about that," he told Star Sports.

The only setback for Thomas at present is that most Premier League clubs are out of season and inactive, which will make it difficult getting quality warm-up games locally, before going into the tournament

"The only things is that this team would love to get some quality practice game before that match (Santos de Guapiles) that can aid in our preparation. But we are hoping we can get a few Premier League teams," he said.

FOUNDITDIFFICULT

Jamaica clubs have found it difficult whenever they advance past the Caribbean stage, but Thomas said they are determined to do well and make a mark this season.

"We know from playing Central Americans and Costa Rican (team)s in the Champions League tournament that I have played against in the past, that they (Santos) should be no different. They shouldn't be different and if we judge the region, we should know what to expect.

"But we are looking forward to doing well in the CONCACAF League. This is where we want to be and the CONCACAF Champions League is something that we want to be part of, and so most definitely we are looking to advance," he said.

Only the winner of the CONCACAF League will advance to the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.