LUCEA, Hanover - Defending daCosta Cup champions Rusea's High School will start their campaign in the 2012 ISSA daCosta Cup season when they go up against Herbert Morrison Technical High School following the ceremony to mark the start of the season at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex on Saturday, September 8.
Rusea's coach Anthony 'Follies' Williams is guardedly optimistic that his team will continue their winning streak and claim their 11th lien on the title, which would result in the school becoming champions for three consecutive season for the first time.
" We were winners in 1984 and 1985; 1992 and 1993; then 2010 and 2011 so we wouldn't mind if we could go on to make it three-in-a-row," Williams told the Observer West during an interview this week.
But he was quick to note that it will be a formidable task for his team to accomplish, noting that they have retained only six players from last season.
"This year is a touch and go and I am being honest. Many people might say I am being deceptive, but I am being honest".
He noted that team is not at full strength in all the areas, but he underscored that prolific striker Brian Brown will be greatly missed.
"We have a concern in every department. The only comfort is we still have Anthony Walker as the forward. But in terms of scoring we are still to find a potent goal scorer to replace Brian Brown who was outstanding in 2010 and 2011. That void is hard to fill because players like those come around once in a blue moon," Williams emphasised.
The team will be led by goalkeeper Richard Trench, who along with his team mate, Walker, are former National Under 17 representatives. Meanwhile, Kyle Anderson is a current member of the National Under 17 outfit.
The team has only won two of five pre-season practice matches they have so far played. Last weekend, they lost 1-2 to Manning Cup team Calabar, and 0-1 to St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) after playing to a 3-3 draw against Muchett High.
"The two games (STETHS and Muschett High) played over the weekend are games we can use to gauge ourselves. We see where we need to work on and we see our strength", he argued.
"And with two weeks to go ahead of the opening game we still have a little more time to put the finishing touch on the team.
Williams said he will not be taking the opening encounter against Herbert Morrrison— a St James team which is returning to the competition this year after a one year hiatus—lightly.
"We don't know anything about them just reports that I read in the paper that the coach is saying it is a young team. But we don't take things for granted. Coaches can be deceptive so we are looking forward to a tough game because we are playing Herbert Morrison in Montego Bay. The St James teams are always difficult encounters.
He articulated that the team's main focus is to progress to the inter-zone stage of the competition, then look towards gaining a berth in the quarter finals "and see how far we can go".
" Once we get into those rounds then you know the team would have been gelling and we look for better performances as we go along. But, the first and foremost job is to see if we can get out of the round of six".
Apart from Herbert Morrison, Rusea's will compete in the inter- zone round with Merlene Ottey High, Frome High, Cambridge High and Green Island High.