Coach Reynolds says Rusea's ahead of last year's pace" title="
Coach Reynolds says Rusea's ahead of last year's pace" sl-processed="1">
Coach Reynolds says Rusea's ahead of last year's pace
LUCEA, Hanover — Defending ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup champions Rusea's High school surged ahead of their pace from last year when they won their 11th title, and coach Vassell Reynolds says they are eyeing a record -tying 12th lien this year.
On Thursday the Lucea, Hanover-based school crossed their first hurdle on their way to defending their title, after they secured their place in the second round with a 10-0 mauling of Merlene Ottey High at Collin Miller Sports Complex, their eighth win in a row on their way rushing to 24 points.
Reynolds told the Jamaica Observer that with the exception of a few areas, they were right where they wanted to be and were steadily making progress.
“I am feeling good about the team,” he said. “We set out with the plan for them to peak at the right time, we are improving steadily, and we would have been in a better position this time than last year in terms of statistics, and that is a positive.”
After eight games last year, Rusea's High were on 20 points from six wins and two draws and had scored 25 goals, compared to the 39 they have scored so far this year.
Reynolds said they still have work to do if they are to go all the way to the final. “Keeping the ball a little longer to create more opportunities in attack, and our finishing as well; we also need to work on our fitness, but that is what we need to improve on,” he said.
Their results so far would indicate the opposition in Zone B might not be as good as last year. “Last year was more competitive; it feels like it is a little less competitive this year,” he said before adding: “Our next Frome game will be a good game away and we will look at ways to prepare, like playing against Red Stripe Premier League teams to sort of help to lift the players' performance a bit.”
He said they are not steeling to only win in Zone B. “When the zone appear to be this easy it goes down to planning in the preparation,” as he believes the lower level of competition could lead to a false sense of security.
Their close brush with early elimination last year in the second round is enough to put them on high alert in every game. “We are guarded against any false sense of security. We are doing a lot of work mentally and, based on what happened with us in the Knockout round against Brown's Town last year, I don't think we will ever go down the route again in the sense of getting too complacent. We are aware of it and guarded against it.”
Rusea's were shocked 1-0 by unheralded Brown's Town at Montego Bay Sports Complex in the first round of their home and away second-round game, and it took penalty kicks to get them into the quarter-finals.
The Rusea's High team was boosted by the addition of several newcomers this season, and Reynolds said they were settling well. “The newcomers are fitting in well but learning the culture and legacy that Rusea's stands for — but they are growing and fitting in quite well.”
Among the newcomers are Kobe Bryan, who transferred from Holland High, Lenroy Anderson and Thomas Williams from Pt Antonio High, and Timar Clarke from Jonathan Grant High.
“They were here for the entire summer and so they would have time to get to know the other players, and I am pleased with their progress so far,” Reynold said.
— Paul Reid