Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Patrick confident of Racing’s JPL bow

Published:Tuesday | June 11, 2024 | 12:12 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Racing United coach, Anthony Patrick.
Racing United coach, Anthony Patrick.

A YEAR ago Racing Football Club of St Catherine came very close to qualifying for the Jamaica Premier League (JPL), the country’s top-flight competition, but lost out to Lime Hall of St Ann in the semifinals of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Tier II playoff via a penalty shootout.

On Sunday at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens, the Anthony Patrick-coached team made a big statement at the same stage of the competition.

An own goal and a strike from their leading goalscorer, Raheem Edwards, gave them a 2-0 win over Reno Football Club of Westmoreland going into their return-leg fixture this Sunday.

Patrick is optimistic.

“The players would have learnt from last year’s heartbreaking penalty loss to Lime Hall and they are more confident this time around,” said Patrick.

“We should have at least a bigger cushion going into the second leg but our players missed several easy scoring opportunities and also we should have gotten two penalties,” he said

According to Patrick, a deeper squad this time around is also part of the source of his optimism.

“Last year our group was not that deep as injuries cost us, especially in the match againgst Lime Hall where at least five of our top players were missing, but we now have a deeper squad.”

Backline to do the job

Despite scoring more than 70 goals this season, led by 17-goal man Edwards, Patrick is backing his backline to do the job.

That backline is led by a couple of former Manning Cup players in St Catherine High School’s Markovich Brown and Kingston College’s Kalifa Richards.

Patrick is also banking on travelling supporters to help his side tide over what could be a tricky away tie.

“The 12th man will be very crucial for us on Sunday and I expect our large set of supporters to be in Westmoreland on Sunday to give their usual support to the team.”

The other semifinal features Tru-Juice, another St Catherine team out of Bog Walk, trying to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Chapelton Maroons of Clarendon.