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JC, STATHS square off for Walker Cup

Published:Friday | December 8, 2023 | 12:07 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter

Leon Brown of STATHS
Leon Brown of STATHS
Jamaica College’s Jamoy Dennis
Jamaica College’s Jamoy Dennis

THREE-TIME ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup champions Jamaica College (JC) will take aim at title number four when they face St Andrew Technical (STATHS) in the 2023 final at 3 p.m. today at the National Stadium.

Heading into today’s final, Davion Ferguson, head coach of Jamaica College, shared that since his team’s exit from the Manning Cup competition, they’ve looked to use the remainder of the season to prepare them for next season.

“More importantly than a title is that since our exit from the Manning Cup we’re trying to see how best we can start our rebuilding process for next season. We have a lot of players who have the ability to play again next year so we want to prepare them for what is to come,” he stated.

Having defeated his opponents thrice on penalties in Manning Cup finals, coach Ferguson has urged his boys to remain focused on the task at hand in order to lift the title. To secure a fourth hold on the trophy, JC will be looking to influential players such as captain Renson Sayers, Jayd Johnson and Jamoi Dennis.

“It’s very important to remain focused as I think STATHS have a very good programme and I have a lot of respect for coach Phillip Williams and what he has done. If you look at all those finals (Manning Cup), it was never an easy game, and what is true about STATHS and JC is that both teams try to put their best foot forward,” Ferguson explained.

Williams, the head coach of STATHS, says he believes that winning this title could be the catalyst that the school needs to lift other trophies in the future, and he expects top performances from the likes of Leon Brown, Andre Salmon and Ajetai Marshall today.

“The aim is to win the Walker Cup by putting in our honest effort out there on the pitch. We haven’t won an under-19 title since 1987 and we would love to start with the Walker Cup. This maybe could be the catalyst that we need for the other titles to start coming,” he said.

Williams added that winning a title over any JC team will require much more than talent but will need commitment and belief in order to get the job done.

“To win anything, especially against a good team such as JC, will take more than talent, commitment is also essential,” he added. Both finalists had little trouble getting to the final from the quarterfinal stage. STATHS defeated Haile Selassie High 2-1 before dismissing Wolmer’s Boys 3-0. JC have not conceded a goal. In the quarterfinals they blanked Jonathan Grant High 2-0 before easing past Excelsior High 3-0.