Running ragged - Schools concerned tired legs affecting schoolboy football quality

November 25, 2017
Geovani Thomas (left) of Calabar attempts to win the ball from Jamaica College's Norman Campbell in their Walker cup semi final at the National Stadium on Saturday November 4.

It is a concern that schoolboy football fans are not getting the true reflection of the nature of the competition, as too many quality teams are being affected by tired legs at the post-season, which is the crunch time of the competition.

Calabar High School lost 6-1 to a rested Jamaica College in the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup, this was after playing 110 minutes in their previous match two days before in the Manning Cup. Clarendon College lost 4-3 to Calabar High with over a week's rest in the quarter-finals of the Super Cup. This was also less than three days after Clarendon's 110 minute match. St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) lost to a well-rested Rusea's 5-2 in the semi-finals of the daCosta Cup less than 72 hours of their last match.

ISSA was presented with this case and vice-president Keith Wellington told STAR Sports that now would not be an opportune time to comment on it as they are still in the season. However, he noted that in his own opinion, ISSA has the players' best interest at heart.

"ISSA is always cognisant of the fact that we need to provide the opportunity for players to be properly rested for them to give their best. All our actions to date, in terms of scheduling of the season, is aimed at their educational pursuit, that it's fair to each and everyone and protecting their health," said Wellington, who is also the principal of STETHS.

Technical director of Clarendon College Lenny 'Teacha' Hyde was asked about the scenario presented earlier and if he thought they could do better managing their squad. He told Star Sports that it was easy to rotate the players in the earlier stages of the competition with weaker teams but at the back-end, it is almost impossible not to play your key players if one wants to win titles.

"We try our best to rotate our squad but for that week it was too hectic for us. When it comes to the crucial part of the season, you have to use your star players but with three tough games in a week they will be tired," said Hyde.

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