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Mona, Hydel hunt first Manning Cup title

Published:Friday | December 8, 2023 | 12:07 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Hydel High’s Manning Cup coach Devon Anderson
Hydel High’s Manning Cup coach Devon Anderson
Mona High’s coach Craig Butler.
Mona High’s coach Craig Butler.
Ronaldo Barrett of Hydel
Ronaldo Barrett of Hydel
Robino Gordon  of  Mona
Robino Gordon of Mona

Two schools seeking their first title will contest today’s ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final at the National Stadium. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m.

Mona High, coached by Craig Butler, will be playing in their first final while the Devon Anderson-coached Hydel High are appearing in their second after losing to Jamaica College in 2012.

The experienced Butler stated yesterday that heading into today’s crucial encounter the mood within the camp is very positive as the boys are mentally locked-in and are aware of what needs to be done in order to be triumphant.

“The mood is a focused one as we’re determined. We know what we have to do and every player is excited about the game and is committed to the task at hand and ready to sticking to the game plan. We’re well rested and ready to go out and do the job,” Butler shared.

While keeping his cards close to his chest, Butler stated that he thinks he has enough to get the better of his opponents based on what the Mona team has in their artillery.

“We don’t want to reveal everything publicly, but we know what we’re about and what we bring to the table. Our pace, tenacity and systematic approach are more than enough to win the Manning Cup and I don’t think any team can stop us, but ourselves,” he said.

Mona are led up front by the dangerous Robino Gordon, who has netted some 14 goals this season, but Butler said the entire unit has been equally impressive thus far.

“When you look at our entire team all have contributed significantly. The whole team is top quality and many of these players are heading for the pros,” Butler remarked.

For the Hydel team, coach Anderson in his pre-game interview stated that the team that makes the least mistakes on the day will be crowned champions.

“The team that makes the least mistakes today will come out as champions and that is what we intend to do, make the least mistakes and ensure that we put away our chances as goals win matches,” he stated.

The Ronaldo Barrett-captained Hydel have a number of weapons they could summon, but will be hopeful that leading goal scorer D’Sean Henry who has 11 goals to his name will be on song against the Mona team. If the team from Ferry should win the title, the likes of Keyanni Jackson and Omario Henry could also prove to game winners.

However, coach Anderson was reluctant to single out any one player as he believes Hydel have the total package.

“Each and every one of my players are very influential,” Anderson said.

Heading into today’s Manning Cup final Jamaica College remain the school with most titles, 31. They are followed by St George’s College 22, Kingston College 16, Wolmer’s Boys 10 and Excelsior High seven.