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November 20, 2012
Star Sport


Manning Cup coaches predict good final
Robert Bailey, STAR Writer

( L - R ) Geoffrey Maxwell, Neville 'Bertis' Bell - file

With five days to go for this year's ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup final, coach of defending champions St George's College, Neville 'Bertis' Bell, and Geoffrey Maxwell, coach of Hydel High, are both predicting a mouth-watering clash on Saturday at the National Stadium.

Both schools will enter Saturday's 4 p.m. kick-off oozing with confidence, after recording semi-finals wins over Wolmer's Boys and Excelsior High, respectively, last Saturday.

The 'Light Blues' produced an excellent display to outclass Wolmer's 2-0 while Hydel, who are in the final for the first time in their history, registered a hard fought 2-1 extra-time win over Excelsior High.

Hydel and St George's meet twice in the preliminary round of the competition and both games ended 1-1.

However, the Georgians, who are the most prolific scoring team in the Manning Cup this season, will start the match as the slight favourites.

The St George's team includes six members of Jamaica's Under-20 squad which recently took part in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Qualifiers and three members of national Under-17 squad.

"It will be good game," said Bell. "They were good two times against us earlier in the season, but the difference this time is that someone will win the match," said Bell.

"We are looking forward to it and I pray that we will come out victorious in the final," Bell added.

Maxwell, who took over the reigns at Hydel at the start of the season, said his team will be going all out for a victory.

"They are very relaxed from over the past week and a half and they are a very confident bunch," said Maxwell. "They feel that we can win the Manning Cup and that is why we entered the competition."

"We respect the St George's College team because they are the defending champions but we have done well this season, and so we are looking forward to a good final," he said.

Maxwell added that his players are looking forward to the opportunity of playing in their first Manning Cup final.

"We just need to play like how we have played in the earlier parts of the season, but with a little bit more aggression and that should get us through," Maxwell said.

Continuing Maxwell said: "Both St George's and Hydel play a similar brand of football because we are possessional teams and we know when to attack and so I think it should be a good final."

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