Haile Selassie’s coach Akeno Morgan believes he has the quality to outperform the top schools in the Corporate Area schoolboy football Manning Cup competition.
Morgan is optimistic about Haile Selassie’s chances in the competition, especially since it will be a youthful bunch of players who will form the core of his squad.
‘I think we have the squad to go as far as we can.’— Coach Morgan
“It is a pretty young team. It’s a building programme that I am doing. I think we have the squad to go as far as we can, but the first step is to get past the first round and then we will take it from there. If you look at the group, it is a fairly young group, in terms of its not the traditional schools like (St) George’s, Jamaica College or Kingston College,” Morgan said.
To be one of the two automatic teams to qualify for the next round, Haile Selassie will have to tally more points than their Group A opponents, Holy Trinity, St Jago, Cumberland, Clan Carthy and Bridgeport.
According to Morgan, Holy Trinity should be the team to fear in the group. He also expressed respect for Bridgeport, which won the competition on two occasions, in 2001 and 2006. Morgan, however, is confident that the preparation for the competition, despite starting “a little late” will enable Haile Selassie’s players to overcome the challenges and make it to the next stage.
‘Once they come on the day and click, I think they can beat anybody in schoolboy football.’— Coach Morgan
“We have some fairly solid players, especially a few of the players from last season. It’s a good bunch collectively. Once they come on the day and click, I think they can beat anybody in schoolboy football in the country, but it’s football and it is not just about the preparation. It is to come in the frame of mind to play football on the day,” Morgan said.
Morgan said in their preparation they played practice matches mainly against Red Stripe Premier League teams. They won three of the matches and lost four. Holy Trinity failed to advance to the second round of the competition last year, but before that, they had progressed beyond the first round for three consecutive years.
The competition will begin on Saturday, September 7.