C’down wary of dangerous Trinity
Camperdown coach Christopher Bender says he is under no illusion as to the difficulty they will face when they take on, Holy Trinity in the first leg of their two-way ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup second-round tie at Stadium East today.
Camperdown was one of the most impressive teams in the first round. They won all 12 matches, scored 46 goals, and conceded just one. Holy Trinity, on the other hand, did not have their usual convincing qualification for the second round.
Instead, they were caught in a three-horse race with Cumberland and St Jago High, who eventually topped the group.
Holy Trinity was second with five wins from 10 games, but they only had one defeat and four draws.
But despite Holy Trinity's struggles to advance, Bender insists the Central Kingston school usually show their pedigree after the first round and therefore he anticipates a very difficult match against the Devon Anderson-coached school.
"Holy Trinity's record over the last six, seven years, show they have done well each time they reach this round. They were finalist one year, they were semi-finalist, they are very consistent, so we expect a very tough challenge," he said. "This may be our deepest task (this season). It's a test for us and we welcome the challenge. We have a lot of respect for the Holy Trinity team, so we are under no illusions that this is going to be a difficult game."
But despite his respect for his opponent, he insists they have played a certain brand of football all season and he will not change their approach but will continue on the same path over both legs.
"Our approach will be no different from in the first round. We will try to win every game we play. We knew the ranking system was in place, so we wanted to get a good spot in terms of ranking, so we had to win matches and score goals and winning became a habit. Goal scoring is one of the most difficult thing in football but we did that well, the challenge now is for the youngsters to do that in this round again," he said.
The free-scoring Camperdown team had many observers singing praises after some electrifying performances in the preliminaries, but Bender noted that this round is where the Manning Cup competition really begins. The challenge now is for his team to reproduce their performances when the margins between the teams are much smaller.
"I hope so (reproduce first-round form), I have prepared the team as well as I can. The team is in good spirits. Our first-round group was not the strongest group but we did well. The challenge is to carry that form into this round and I see no reason why they cannot perform like that in this round. Our potential should come to the fore now, we expect the competition to get more difficult as we go further and this is where the Manning Cup starts. The teams are becoming a little more even, so it's that fine margin that will make the difference. But our aim is to go as far in the competition and to be the best you have to beat the best," he stated.
Manning Cup Fixtures Today
Eltham v Staths @ Prison Oval 1p.m.
St Catherine v Wolmer's @ Prison Oval 3 p.m.
Vauxhall v KC @ Stadium East 2 p.m.
Holy Trinity v C'down @ Stadium East 4 p.m.