ISSA restructures Walker Cup, Ben Francis competitions

August 22, 2019
Wright
Wright
Goalkeeper Shaquan Davis (right), of Hydel High, leaps into action to save a header in the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup final against Excelsior High at Stadium East in Kingston on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.
Goalkeeper Shaquan Davis (right), of Hydel High, leaps into action to save a header in the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup final against Excelsior High at Stadium East in Kingston on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.
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For the third season in a row, the ISSA Schoolboy competitions' format will have slight changes for the upcoming season. At the launch held at the Terra Nova Hotel yesterday, DaCosta Cup chairman Linvern Wright sought to explain the new changes.

"Though they remain in the same number and arrangement of games, they are somewhat different in qualifying and how they qualify," he said.

The ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup and ISSA/WATA DaCosta will remain relatively the same, with a first-round set-up where the top two teams, along with the two best third-place teams will advance to a play-off fixture over two legs. From there, the winners of the play-offs will advance to a quarter-final round with four teams to a group. From there, the winners will advance to the semi-finals.

The changes this season will be the Walker Cup and Ben Francis Cup qualifications.

Last year, the teams that lost their play-off round fixtures in the Manning Cup would vie for the chance to win the Walker Cup. However, this year will see the eight teams that lose their matches enter an entirely new play-off system to earn their qualification spot to the Walker Cup.

The four winners from these matches will then face off against the four teams that failed to advance to the semi-finals from the quarter-final round.

The changes in the DaCosta Cup will see that the second-and-third place teams from the quarter-final round contest the Ben Francis Cup. This is a change from the third- and fourth-place teams that would have competed.

"Last year, one of the things we had said was that we weren't closed on the things that we had done, because we were experimenting. We really tried to be consultative and listen to coaches and everybody. What we have done is what we have listened to," Wright explained.

- Gregory Bryce

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