JC, STATHS showdown in Manning Cup finale
Reigning champions Jamaica College (JC) will put their title on the line when they face the unbeaten St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup final at the National Stadium, this evening at 6.
Many time champions JC are the favourites to win their fifth consecutive title since coach Miguel Coley took over as head coach in 2013. However, STATHS are hungry for a second title since 1987.
"It is a great feeling to be in the Manning Cup final again, however the work is not done yet. We have shown improvement in terms of our objective to win the Manning Cup," Coley told STAR Sports yesterday.
"It is always a disappointment to lose, but we have moved on," Coley said about the loss in the Super Cup. "This is the one we always want to win. The body language is good, the players have recuperated and are ready for the final," he said.
"The teams have played each other twice in the preliminary stage, and both games ended in draws, so the teams are familiar with each other. The two times the teams met, White (Jaedine) was significant for STATHS," Coley pointed out ahead of their training session.
"The team has matured, earlier in the season many persons wrote us off. The team is hard working and a disciplined bunch of players," he also said.
Tyreek Magee has been the main player for the Dark Blues this season, but Coley pointed to teamwork as the key for his team.
"It is teamwork, but he (Tyreek Magee) is a significant player for us," Coley noted.
Magee apart, other key players include captain Maliek Howell, midfielder Tevin Rochester, defender Delderone Simpson, and striker Shaneil Thomas.
Coach of STATHS, Phillip Williams, who has guided STATHS to the final after been promoted from the Under-16 team, also said his players are ready for the battle.
"The team is ready because we have done a lot of preparations and we think that it is fitting for us to win based on the amount of energy and preparation that we have put in place leading up to the final," said Williams.
"They are very confident because they are into the final and they are not fazed by the situation or what they have achieved so far," he said.
"This is the final and we want to enter it with the mindset of winning over the 90 minutes, but if that is not so, then we are prepared to go the extra minutes that it take for us to come out victorious.
"They (JC) are a very good team, coached by a very experienced coach in Miguel Coley and they are one that we have to respect. But, hopefully, over the last two meetings, we have earned their respect as well and so we are looking forward to a very exciting final," Williams said.
STATHS captain and goalkeeper, Jaedine White has been a tower of strength with many spectacular saves. He should get support from central defender David Smith, striker Barrington Bailey and Andre Smith.