WATCH: STGC will fight for every single point - GayleFriday, November 12, 2021
BY JOB NELSON
Assistant coach Marcel Gayle is confident that St George's College will play at a high standard this schoolboy football season despite the many challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Gayle, St George's have only been training for approximately four weeks, which placed them behind in preparation for the competition which kicked off on Friday.
"We are not where we want to be or supposed to be at this time, but I think we have enough to go out there and represent a true reflection of ourselves,” Gayle told OBSERVER ONLINE this week.
"We are not really satisfied with where we are. Based on the time and factoring all the protocols and guidelines, and we couldn't get to train, the time and going school online and coming in to train, it's very difficult for us, but we are always competitive," he added.
A traditional football powerhouse, St George's College have won 22 Manning Cup titles, only bettered by the 30 titles won by Jamaica College (JC).
St George's last won the Manning Cup in 2012 when they defeated Hydel in the final, but since then have faltered in the latter stages of the competition. They lost the title-deciding match in 2015 and 2018 to JC and North Street nemesis Kingston College (KC) respectively.
Gayle said his charges are prepared to live up to the standards expected of a STGC side despite all the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic created.
"We are also prepared to go out there and fight for every single point," he stated.
He is respectful of all the teams in Group A of the preliminary round where St George's have drawn defending champions JC, Bridgeport, Calabar, Charlie Smith, Kingston High and Kingston Technical High.
St George's have not been impressive in practice matches as, according to Gayle, these include losses to Jamaica Premier League outfit Portmore United and daCosta Cup defending champions Clarendon College.
On Tuesday, the players underwent medical examinations at the school that included an electrocardiogram (ECG), which checks the soundness of the heart.
In the 2016 season, St George's captain Dominic James collapsed on the football pitch and was later pronounced dead at the University Hospital of the West Indies. A post mortem showed he died of heart failure.