Calabar eyeing Manning title

August 30, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Calabar High School's Rajay Officer (left) and Jamaica College's Kareem Kelly challenge for the ball during the clash betweenj Manning Cup teams in the' annual Keane/Crosskill Football Tournament, at the Barbican playing field on Sunday. Calabar High topped the three-game series by winning the Manning Cup encounter 1-0 and topping the Under-16 matchup 2-1. The Over-35 match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Calabar High School's Terique Reid (right) clears the ball before being challenged by Jamaica College's Norman Campbell during the clash of the schools' Manning Cup teams at the annual Keane/Crosskill Memorial Football Festival at the Barbican playing field on Sunday. Looking on at left is Calabar's Roshawn Moody.
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Calabar High School's new head coach, Lijaysu 'Shaka' Simms, is confident his team can win this year's Manning Cup title.

Simms, who was assistant coach to the late David 'Wagga' Hunt when the Red Hills Road-based institution won the Manning Cup in 2005, says his team has the potential to go all the way when the competition kicks off next month.

Calabar's confidence soared following a 1-0 win against defending Manning Cup champions Jamaica College during the Keane/Crosskill Memorial festival at Barbican playfield on Sunday.

"Well, we are in preparation mode for the Manning Cup competition," Simms, who took over from veteran coach Bradley Stewart during the summer, told STAR Sports yesterday.

"We have less than two weeks to go. JC were not at full strength, but it is certainly a confidence boost for Calabar," Simms added.

"We are preparing to go all the way. The boys are very determined to win the title and they are training hard to achieve this," the former Meadowbrook Manning Cup defender outlined.

TEAM STRENGTH

He noted that the team is not about individuals, but will be focusing on team strength to get the task done.

"We have a team willing to work for each other. We are placed in a group, I have referred to as a group of death in the preliminary stage," Simms said.

Calabar are in Group G, alongside former champions Bridgeport High, Hydel High, Cumberland High, St Jago High and Campion College.

Calabar will play their opening game in the 2016 Manning Cup campaign against Bridgeport High at Calabar Stadium on September 10, starting at 3:30 p.m.

With regards to support, Simms said the school's board, old boys association, and others are fully behind the Manning Cup programme.

"The support from the school led by principal Albert Corcho, as well as the old boys association has been great. I can't complain," he reasoned.

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