Price looks to hit the ground running with Calabar
PRICE...we are as prepared as we can possibly be with the time that we had to prepare for the season.

THE new head coach of Calabar High, Andrew Price is champing at the bit for the start of the Corporate Area football season as he gets that tingling feeling of anticipation similar to his playing days at St George's College.

Price will lead Calabar into battle against defending Manning Cup champions Kingston College (KC) at Sabina Park at 5:30 pm, and he remains nostalgic about the good old days when he was a part of St George's winning teams of 1983 and 1984.

"Oh, yes, the schoolboy culture is always exhilarating. It brings back memories of my own preparation back in the day. This rubber is highly competitive over the years as the two schools have a strong rivalry in all sporting activities," Price told the Jamaica Observer.

Price, who is also the head coach of the Clarendon-based Humble Lions in the Jamaica Premier League, will be going into battle against a KC team he has had many clashes with as a player. This time he won't be playing physically, but he will be involved in the mind games from the sideline.

"Well, the mood in the camp is good. We are as prepared as we can possibly be with the time that we had to prepare for the season," he explained.

"We had two weeks of intensive camp during the period, which went very well. [We] played a lot of practice games against senior men's teams to develop grit and mental toughness," he added.

The 54-year-old Price, who also won a bronze medal in the Class Two long jump at the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships and who came fifth in the high jump, said they are very realistic about the season.

They lost 1-3 to KC in a preseason match.

Calabar, who last lifted the Corporate Area title in 2005, and KC are drawn in a Group A — considered the group of death — alongside two other schools which boast Manning Cup triumphs in St George's College and Ardenne High.

"We will take it one game at a time and respect all the teams that we will play. As the season progresses I expect the team to play better with each game," Price informed.

"We are in a very competitive group... [but] we hope to progress out of the group," he pointed out.

Calabar, formed in 1912, have won the Manning Cup on three occasions. The general thought is that the school's focus is more on athletics, having won the Mortimer Geddes Trophy 28 times.

But Price's appointment is a clear indication that the Red Hills Road-based school is craving for football success and looking to end their 17-year drought.

"We are in a rebuilding stage and [are charting] the course in developing back a football culture at the school. It is not hard to develop a football culture at school," he pointed out.

Price continued: "All parties concerned just have to buy into it. The school administration, the students, the old boys' fraternity, the school population and, most importantly, the student athletes."

— Howard Walker


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