BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MARTHA BRAE, Trelawny - Holland High School in Martha Brae, Trelawny is one of two newcomers that will be taking the field next month when the rural area ISSA daCosta Cup competition begins.
The eight-year-old co-educational institution, located a few chins form William Knibb High, will join Foga Road High in Clarendon as well as 84 other schools, including nine who are returning after periods of absences.
Holland, who has participating in the Under 14 and Under 16 football competitions in recent years, will compete in Zone C that will also see Muschett High, William Knibb, Spot Valley and Hopewell High.
Earlier this week the Observer West journeyed to Holland High to watch one of the many training sessions that began in mid- July under the watchful eyes of coach John Thomas and his assistant Ricardo Brooks.
" It's really a very young team we have here. It is really a building process," he noted. "A lot of the students on the squad are likely to be around for about four seasons. Infact, more than 11 of them will play in the Under 16 football competition this season".
He added that the average age of the 22 -member squad now in training is 15.
But although Thomas is satisfied with the progress that the players have made over the past five weeks in training, he does not expect his team to reach the second round of the competition.
" I don't really think that we will reach the second round. If we do it will be a bonus for us. But we should al least come second in the zone bearing in mind that it is a tight group we are in," he told the Observer West.
"But as the years progress we will do much better....... it's a building process".
He said so far the team has won one, and has lost the other of the two practice matches it has played, as the squad prepares for the beginning of the season.
Former daCoata champions St James High, Thomas said, defeated them 3-1 in the first match, while his team edged Brown's High 1-0 in the other.
Holland, he added, will play Herbert Morrison in another friendly today, adding that several other practice matches are planned for over the next two weeks.