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Top schools take aim at daCosta Cup

first_img outside chances Western Bureau: Tomorrow the drama and spectacle that is the ISSA/Flow daCosta Cup season will get under way and the expectation is that it will be a season of superlative football action. Last year, with Patrick ‘Jackie’ Walters in charge, Clarendon College claimed the coveted title with victory over St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) and are among the favourites in this year’s return. But Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, who is now pulling the strings, feels no pressure. Davis believes flying under the radar could make it better for the Chapelton-based school’s prospect. “This is a brand-new team we are working with and as a result the expectation may not be too high, which is good, because it gives us time to take each game one at a time and build our season,” reasoned Davis. “It is going to be a difficult season, which is why we need to make the players aware of what they will be playing for. Teams we know will be coming at us so we need that edge and we will be fine,” said Davis. Winning last year broke a 14-year title drought for Clarendon College and they will want to hold on to the title at least another season with coach Davis now in charge. “While we are expecting a tough season with an almost brand-new squad, we remain champions and will compete as such. We are hoping to surprise the pundits with a solid season that could deliver for us the title once again,” Davis said of the seven-time winners. Cornwall College, who are the winningest school in the history of the competition with 11 titles to their name, will also be among the favourites, along with STETHS, Rusea’s and Clarendon College. Glenmuir, champions in 2012, and Frome Technical, winners of the 2003 edition, could be spoilers. Add for good measure the outside chances of Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey High and Cedric Titus High and the plot begins to thicken rather quickly. These are the teams to watch, according to some pundits, but it’s the Dr Dean Weatherly-conditioned Cornwall College who could be the team to watch. Cornwall’s title drought is now into its 14th year and only victory will appease their most rabid supporters. In fact, the current squad assembled by Weatherly could be the ones to break the winless cycle. “It will be competitive this year and we have a good chance to go deep into the competition based on the fact these players have matured and are more experienced, plus we have seen the players become more mature, which bodes well for the season,” said Weatherly. “Cornwall should be in a position to break the drought this year,” he added. Aaron Lawrence of Rusea’s also has his eyes focused on the daCosta Cup title and is hoping to bring his school level with Cornwall on number of titles won. The Hanover-based school has 10 titles. “We are a championship school. We thrive on competition and will raise our game and level each match. The heritage here is massive and Rusea’s will be one of the schools to watch this year,” Lawrence reasoned. STETHS will also be tough. They have won the crown four times, their last being in 2013. They will be challenging for all four titles on offer, but it’s the coveted daCosta Cup they want the most. “We want to win all four titles,” declared the school’s technical director, Wendell Downswell. “The group of players we have is one that can do a good job. STETHS, this year, will be challenging on all four fronts,” Downswell stated. “We have enough quality to push all the way,” he said.last_img read more

Wenger avoids Mourinho ‘war’

first_imgArsene Wenger has refused to be drawn into a war of words with old adversary JosÈ Mourinho after it was claimed the Manchester United boss once wanted to “break his face” during his time on the Chelsea bench.Wenger said he was totally focused on today’s Premier League match against Chelsea and would only talk about football matters when the quote taken from Mourinho’s biography was put to him at yesterday’s press conference.Wenger and Mourinho have had quite a few clashes while the latter was coach of Chelsea.Mourinho, book which was serialised in the Daily Mail, outlines alleged conversations with a football journalist and includes a mention of an angry exchange surrounding Wenger which reportedly ended with Mourinho saying: “I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face.””Look, I haven’t read the book and I certainly won’t read it,” Wenger said.”I cannot comment on that. I talk about football and that’s all I do. I’m not in a destructive mode, ever. I’m more constructive and I cannot comment on that because I’m focused on tomorrow’s (today’s) game and how we want to play football.”I have no personal problem with anybody, I respect everybody in our game and I don’t feel I comment a lot on other teams. Sometimes I just say what I think, but that is part of the way I am,” Wenger added before looking forward to today’s game which will be his first contest again new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.”Honestly for me it was always just a big game and an important game, and the personal rivalry that you suggest existed stronger before was never, in my head, a concern,” he added.”What is always important is it’s a big game. Chelsea in the last 10 years had very, very strong teams. You realise that today as well. Before that period, we were always beating them, after they were always the stronger team for a few years.”Now, it looks like it’s a new era where it’s a bit more balanced again and we feel we are progressing at the moment so we have a good opportunity to grab and to change what I call ‘the inconvenient facts’ of the recent years.”last_img read more