DRAX HALL, St Ann — With the objective of qualifying for the Jamaica Premier League next season already achieved, coaches for Chapelton Maroons and Faulkland FC say they are expecting a free-flowing and exciting final of the Jamaica Football Federation Tier Two competition at Drax Hall today starting at 3:00 pm.
Chapelton booked their spot after beating Treasure Beach FC 6-3 on aggregate over two legs of the semi-finals that ended on Wednesday, while Faulkland FC had got by a tough Falmouth United 4-3 on penalty kicks after they had played out a 1-1 scoreline after two games plus 30 minutes of extra time.
Both Lenworth Hyde of Chapelton and Gregory Palmer of Faulkland FC agreed that with the "edge" gone out of the game after both teams secured Premier League status already, it will make for better football with the players more relaxed.
That is where the similarities end, however, as, while Palmer says winning would be a "bonus" after a good season, Hyde says they are going out today with the intention to win.
Faulkland FC of St James topped the points tables at the end of the regular season with 26 points, three more than Chapelton from Clarendon who they also beat 3-2 in the regular season.
"We want to win, [and] the aim is always to win [all] silverware on offer and we want to end on top," Hyde told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.
Hyde said they had not forgotten their loss to Faulkland, "This is a good way to get even," he said and agreed that with qualification to the Premier League already secured, "the players will enjoy themselves, there will not be any tension in the game".
Palmer said, while the objective is "always to win", with the Premier League qualification out of the way, the players could be a little more relaxed.
"It won't be the same level of intensity as we had in the semi-finals," he said.
Palmer said with the pressure off he expected the players to play more freely.
"I expect they will express themselves more, and all week in training they have talked about winning the title as a bonus."
Faulkland FC will welcome back winger Renaldo McLeish, who missed the return-leg semis against Falmouth United after he was sent off in the first leg, and he should team up with top-scorer O'Brien Robinson to lead the attack.
Kaheim Dixon scored twice for Chapelton on Wednesday after they went 0-2 down to Treasure Beach and could be the man to lead the attack today along with Devonti Hodges and Javel Ellis.
— Paul Reid