Speid happy for break provided by automatic semi-final spotThursday, September 16, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica- Cavalier FC finished second in the regular season of the Jamaica Premier League after amassing 18 points and finishing with a better goal difference than Mount Pleasant FA, who ended on the same number of points.
A goal six minutes from time against Vere United last weekend secured the semi-final spot and helped them avoid two extra quarter-final games.
For Technical Director Rudolph Speid, this extra bit of rest could prove vital in their quest to win the league.
While suggesting that his squad would have been able to cope with the rigours of a quarter-final round, Speid is certain that Cavalier will benefit from having two less games under their legs, than whoever they face in the semi-finals.
“Either way we would have been okay, but this time we will be able to give the players a little extra rest to come back and train hard and keep the peak fitness up for whosoever it is to play against.
The conditions at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence have been particularly grueling with the games being played early, in hot conditions, on the synthetic surface which has taken a toll on the players in particular.
“On this particular surface, it is good to go into the semi-finals straight, because these two teams have to battle out home and away. There are injuries, there is the tough underfoot condition that we have to play under. Maybe if it was grass it would be different but with this turf, I think it's best for us to rest,” Speid reasoned.
Cavalier's season rested in the balance toward the end of the season, but they were able to secure consecutive wins to end the regular season campaign and slip quietly into the semi-finals.
Speid stated that he is quite pleased that they have been able to fix the issues just in time for the play-offs.
“If you look at our record, we were always leading teams and they caught up with us in the end. We were leading three other games and they caught up with us near the end, Harbour View, Tivoli and Waterhouse.
“So, what we did was just work on our finish (to the games) because we always know we are going to score and then work on our finish to be able to keep teams off the scoresheet. So that has been the change that we have worked on during the season.”
Cavalier goes into the semi-finals with the second highest number of goals scored and the second best goal difference in the league.