Henriques Cup champions Mona hunt JISA double
AFTER winning the JISA Henriques Cup over the weekend, head coach of Mona Preparatory School Alfred Nelson is hoping his boys can display another good performance in the semi-finals of the Alberga Cup Under-12 competition against Emmanuel Christian Academy (ECA) on Wednesday at Maxfield Park Field, starting at 2:30 pm.
On Saturday, Mona claimed the knockout title for the first time in five years after beating first-time finalists Liberty Academy 1-0 at AISK, thanks to a strike from Liam Delisser.
Nelson stressed how important the victory is to the school’s football programme.
“It was a tough game, it was a final, there’s no soft game. It doesn’t matter what you do in the first or second round, the final will always be different. Winning the competition, very proud of the youngsters,” he said.
Mona have the chance to do the double but first need to get by ECA, which Nelson knows will be a tough task, especially after their Henriques Cup triumph.
“[We’re] going up against the favourites; we know it’s going to be tough. After the game on Saturday [against Liberty] I spoke to them and told them to enjoy the moment on that day and then start refocusing — starting yesterday [Monday],” said Nelson.
ECA have been touted as favourites for the Alberga Cup since the start of the competition, and Head Coach Gregory Jones says they will try their best to manage the heavy expectations.
“A lot of pressure has been applied and our team has been feeling the pressure. Nobody wants to be tagged as the favourites — we like to be seen as the underdogs. But, right now the boys are at a place where they are hungry for this one. The approach is to give it a 100 per cent. The boys are very optimistic and upbeat in training yesterday. We’re prepared, we are ready, and there’s no looking back,” said Jones.
In the first semi-final at 1:00 pm Sts Peter and Paul will take on Hillel Academy.
The winning semi-finalists will meet in Saturday’s final at Sts Peter and Paul, while the losing semi-finalists will compete in the third place play-off.