STETHS are ready to win another trophy
If St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) are to break a six year hold on the Olivier Shield by Manning Cup teams, they know they must start the process in today's first leg of the all-island championships decider at home at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz.
STETHS will host Manning Cup kingpins Jamaica College in the first leg of the two way series with the second leg set for the Stadium East field on Saturday, both games set to start at 3:00 pm with the champions decided on aggregate and is the only schoolboys' football title that can be shared as the rules does not call for tie breakers.
The last four days have been a buzz of activity since STETHS beat Garvey Maceo High 4-1 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Saturday evening to win their fourth daCosta Cup title but coach Omar Wedderburn told the Observer yesterday they have not lost sight of the big picture.
"We celebrated the daCosta Cup but now it is back to work and we had a very good recovery session on Monday afternoon and the focus is now back on what we need to do," he said.
The job he said was to win the Olivier Shield for the second time and first since 1999 but he knows it is easier said than done, "Jamaica College is a very good team and they have a never say die approach, just like us, so we know what to expect (today), this game will be about two champions going after the last title and the game will be hectic."
There is also an additional factor for the school that has dominated rural area schoolboys' football for the past five seasons, qualifying for eight finals and winning six titles.
Just two of their starting 11 players will return next year, Donjay Smith and Rushane McClymont and Wedderburn acknowledges that this could be their best chance of winning the Olivier Shield for a few years.
St Georges College with four wins in the last six seasons and Jamaica College have combined to win the last six Olivier Shield as Glenmuir High was the last daCosta Cup team to go all the way when they won in 2004 and shared it in 2006.
A number daCosta cup winners over the period have been accused of not understanding the importance of winning the Olivier Shield after winning the rural area title but Wedderburn says his team does not think like that.
"The difference with us is that we want to win everything, that was the goal we set at the start of the season, every time we get to a final, we expect to win and this game will not be any different," he said adding "our approach will be the same as Saturday (in the daCosta Cup final)."
If they stick to the script Jamaica College can expect the duo of Khesanio Hall and Jovan James, the latter the inform scorer, to come at them from the kick off.
Hall limped off the field on Saturday but Wedderburn said he is OK, "he was not that injured that we had to take him off and if we needed him, he could have finished the game; but we are looking to the future and the three players we brought on will be here next year and they need the experience."
Hall who topped the daCosta Cup scoring race with a total of 35 goals, slowed down late in the game and went three games without scoring but that was when James stepped up and put the team on his back with four crucial goals to land them the title.
STETHS has also dominated the midfield primarily through Keano Williams who along with Carl Campbell have controlled the middle of the field.
Williams who also scored on Saturday, has three goals since the start of the Inter-zone after scoring once in their first 10 games.