Camperdown High’s Manning Cup head coach Donovan Lofters took his team to play against a tough Mona High squad on Tuesday, knowing that the odds were stacked heavily against his side.
He went into the match against the group leaders, with his preferred centre-half pairing, best striker and team captain, Devante McCrea, all missing the game through red card suspensions and suffered a heavy 9-2 defeat at the hands of Mona.
Subsequently, Camperdown got off to a bad start when they conceded in only the fourth minute of play and things got worse when they conceded two more quick goals to fall 3-nil behind, after only 15 minutes.
There was a brief moment of optimism when they scored against the Mona-based side, shortly after going down 3-nil.
But an early second-half blitz, where they conceded three more goals in eight minutes, put an end to the match as a contest.
Lofters acknowledged the difficulties of the situation even before a ball was kicked in the game, noting that they were also unprepared for the wet and muddy conditions.
He also said that Camperdown lacked the required footwear for the soft underfoot conditions, which only served to compound their problems.
“It was always going to be a difficult task after what happened (last week) with all the suspensions, with all the weaknesses of the team,” he said.
“We tried with the youngsters. It was 3-1 at the end of the first half. The second half we lost it totally and the conditions didn’t help us either, we weren’t equipped for the conditions,” he admitted.
However, Lofters is not willing to dwell on that massive defeat and is already looking ahead to what can be achieved in the rest of the first round and beyond.
Even in the darkest moment of the season, he was able to see some light and positive signs to build on.
“This is behind us. We have seven games to go, 21 points to play for. We can’t dwell on what has happened, so it’s up to me now to get them up for Friday,” he said.
“I need to see if we can get some points on Friday and get some points (next) Tuesday and then we can start from there…then we can look forward to the second round (return leg matches).”
“They stood up, they fought, and we scored two goals. We scored the most goals (so far) in a defeat like this against presumably the best team in the zone. So, there are things we can work on, there are positive things we can look at, positive signs and I can build on that,” he added.
In addition to the green shoots on the field of play, Lofters and the Camperdown administration have been looking at a mental approach to sort through the issues of indiscipline that have marred the start of their season.
“We got (them) counselling because it’s a holistic approach and it’s happening all over the country. The violence is evident, and it is getting prominent, so we did a lot of counselling sessions and I have seen the attitude changes, so we are on the up,” he assured.
Camperdown will host the win-less Kingston High on Friday, hoping that they can finally secure their first win of the season.