Jamaica Gleaner / Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer Western Bureau:The 2014 Inter-Secondary School Sports Association ISSA/LIME schoolboy football season gets under way this afternoon with a triple-header at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, starting at 1 p.m.
The new-look competition will see changes to the number of games being played on the opening day, with most zones fielding matches.
Manning Cup and Olivier Shield champions Jamaica College take the field against Group G rivals Jonathan Grant High at 1 p.m. before last year’s daCosta and Ben Francis Cup winners St. Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) begin their title defence. They face BB Coke in a Zone E encounter.
Former champions St. James High, with former national coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore at the helm, and Green Pond High, will close off the action at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. Kick-off time is set for 6 p.m.
The Omar Wedderburn-coached STETHS team should come out with maximum points over B.B. Coke, who will need to be at their best to stop the likes of speedy forward Donjay Smith.
Multiple top players
Wedderburn has always built his squad around multiple top players, so while Smith is able to dominate in the central attacking role, others will also be a danger to the B.B. Coke defence.
“It’s a game we should win. It’s the first for the season but I think we have the quality to defeat this B.B. Coke team and begin our title defence in style,” reasoned Wedderburn.
“Our preseason went well and the players are confident of doing well this year. The ultimate, though, is to defend our titles and possibly gain one or two others, including the LIME Super Cup,” Wedderburn said.
Main sponsors LIME have donated a trophy and will provide numerous cash incentives for the elite teams in both the Manning and daCosta Cups.
“I see this added competition as a great way to give the players more matches. When it’s all done they would have maximised the experience and will be far more able to withstand the rigours of overseas football, which many aspire to at the college and university levels,” said Wedderburn.
“But we first have to focus on retaining the two titles we won last year and that means playing top class football the STETHS way, scoring goals and defending well in our matches. It’s going to be very difficult to do so, but we have some good players who I am sure are hungry for more success,” he said.
Several other matches will be played today. They include Munro College vs Newell High, Clarendon College vs Thompson Town High and Grange Hill vs Petersfield High. All will kick off at 3:30 p.m.
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