Jamaica College prepare to go for all titles

September 13, 2022
Davion Ferguson.
Davion Ferguson.

HEAD COACH Davion Ferguson of last season's beaten finalists Jamaica College (JC) believes the 30-time Manning Cup winners are better prepared to challenge for the title of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup schoolboy football competition.

According to Ferguson, JC will be gunning to win all titles on offer, which would be Manning Cup, Champions Cup and Olivier Shield.

"This year is no different, we always play to win (but) they say 'nothing is given, everything is earned'," he said.

Ferguson stated that although the fans of JC expect them to top Group B and make it all the way to the top, he is taking a step-by-step approach.

"I don't take the group lightly. I believe that we have to go out there and put down performances to really show that we are worthy to be group winners.

"Personally, I would say I am very strong mentally (and) the team I think we have a very strong mindset. In our minds, we are champions, we prepare like that and we try to deliver as best as possible because at the end of the day, nothing is given and we try best to meet our objective," Ferguson said.

He believes the inexperience of his squad last year played a part in them losing the title match 5-4 on penalties to Kingston College (KC).

"Last year I had a group which was mainly players who were playing their first season of Manning Cup. It was really an experience for us and I believe that that experience should help us this year to really give a better account of ourselves.

"I am still proud of them in terms of the effort that they gave and it's no shame actually losing a Manning Cup final, especially on penalties," he said.

Ferguson, however, stated that the preseason preparations were much better and they are hoping to improve on last year's placing.

"Last year the preparation period heading into the competition was probably one of the worst I've ever seen or ever presided over in terms of heading into a season. The pandemic is one thing that really caused the preparation to be a little bit challenging.

"This season, the preparation is a lot better. I think we had more time, we had more opportunities to try stuff that we wouldn't have been able to do last year," Ferguson said.

With this, he said he was able to form a rounded group for this season.

"We have players who have experience now at the Manning Cup level and also internationally or they have experience at different levels. I think we have a very rounded group, I don't expect one or two individuals to outshine the team," Ferguson said.

Ferguson is also anticipating new members of the squad stepping up to showcase their talents and deliver for JC.

"I am always excited about people on a whole, getting opportunities in life. For some of these kids, this is a passport or a gateway to their future so I take it very seriously," Ferguson said.

"However, I don't believe in just giving an opportunity to someone just because they need an opportunity, but you have to deserve that opportunity.

"I think we have a group of players who deserve the opportunity. They are working each and every day very diligently, to really maximise this opportunity when it comes," he continued.

JC play their first match today at home against St Mary's College at 3:30 p.m.

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