Denham Town pin Cup hopes on seniors
Denham Town, Manning Cup semi-finalists in 2015 and 2016 quarter-finalists, open their 2017 season in Zone D away to St Catherine.
Though coach Omar Edwards is eyeing another impressive run in the competition this year, he foresees a very difficult time qualifying from this group.
Despite that, he wants nothing less than a point from this opening game.
"We know it is going to be a challenging encounter, but we are going there with a positive mind and we will do everything in our powers to come out with a point or three," he said.
"It will come down to the teams that want to ensure their schools advance from the first round," Edwards added, arguing that for Denham Town, a lot will depend on senior players.
"We managed to keep 40 per cent of last year's players. Jermaine Lyons, our central midfielder, represented our country in the Under-17. Shamar Thompson is another senior player. Maleek Goldson scored four goals last season, and we are looking at him at centre forward. In central defence Kimani Boyd is one of our senior players we will look to perform," he said
"We got the players and believe we have a 'gel' squad ready to the season. So the aim is to get out of the first round and take it from there," he said.
Meanwhile, St Catherine's Anthony Patrick hopes his team takes confidence from their win in the St Catherine/INSPORTS Challenge Cup into their season.
"This (Insports/St Catherine Challenge Cup) is the first football final St Catherine ever won, so it is very important. It is a morale booster. Now we have to wait on the Manning Cup and see what happens," he said.
In other Zone D games, St George's play Tarrant and Vauxhall entertain Kingston Technical. In Zone C, Camperdown take on Cumberland at Alpha, Hydel play Waterford at Caymanas, and Meadowbrook host St Mary's College at Michigan Avenue. In Zone F, Ascot are at home to Jose Marti, Edith Dalton James host Clan Carthy and St Jago battle Holy Trinity.