Mona Prep praised after winning Under-12 double
HEAD coach of Mona Preparatory School, Alfred Nelson hailed his team’s determination after winning the JISA Canopy Insurance Alberga Cup National Under-12 Competition to claim the coveted prep school double.
After winning the Henriques Cup knockout competition Mona returned on Saturday at AISK to beat Hillel 1-0, thanks to a strike from Khyel Dale.
Nelson said he was happy his team could overcome the sting of defeat they faced in 2022.
“Most of these youngsters played last year and came third twice so they were determined to do better than what we did last year. They put in the work and they had the confidence of doing so. No one was expecting them to win the double so we’re grateful and glad for it and we’re just enjoying the moment now and looking forward to next year and see if we can do it again — but the hard work paid off,” he said.
The last time Mona achieved the double victory was back in 2015 and prior to that in 2005, both under the guidance of Nelson. He downplayed his role in this year’s success, crediting the current boys for their will to win.
“It’s more about the players than me. Yes, I know about winning titles and winning doubles but it always has to be about the players. They have to want it, because when it comes to [the] stage that I need it more than the kids it’s going to seem like you’re pressuring them. I work with them, they put in the work, and they show that they want it,” said Nelson.
Hillel Assistant Coach Nicholas Clarke, while disappointed with the result, says his team proved many wrong this season.
“I’m overjoyed and really pleased just to see the maturity, physically and mentally, because most teams have Hillel as some little soft boys who can’t manage it when it comes to mental toughness but my boys and girl showed toughness — mentally and physically.
“Throughout the season we were excellent. We played what we were supposed to play, execute what we were supposed to execute on the pitch…I can’t ask for anymore. These kids really excelled,” Clarke said.
In the third-place play-off Emmanuel Christian Academy defeated Sts Peter and Paul 2-1.
JISA Sports Coordinator Winston Keyes says the overall Under-12 football season was a testament to all the teams’ efforts. “I’m elated about how the season was completed. We had one day of rain and there was the day of the earthquake but otherwise, everything went according to plan. The spectators, the coaches, the players were excellent.
“Kudos to the teams, kudos to Mona — they went and did their thing. And the other teams, well tried. It was just a good season for everybody; it was up to par. This is how Alberga and Henriques Cup should be played,” Keyes said.