El Dorado Snr Comprehensive
El Dorado Senior Comprehensive’s footballers will this year be bidding to prove that a different cast doesn’t necessarily mean a different script.
Easy winners last season, ElDo will be forced to do without some key players. The creativity of Kwame Wiltshire, the craftiness of Abede Fernandes, the strength of Kirth Hutchings and the sturdiness of Devin Jordan and Michael Julius in defence will all be missing from coach Trevor Spicer’s line-up for the 2000 campaign. But Spicer still has the services of Junior Pamponette, Kevin James, Sterlin O’Brien and Jaboree Lamsie to try to mould a title-winning team once more. Despite the major loss of experience and skill, a confident manager John Henry expects that the new players will combine with the returning seniors to write the same “Blue Thunder” screenplay.
They would still be quite content if it is not as elaborate as last season’s.
St Augustine Snr Comprehensive
It was inconsistency that put a spoke in the Green Machine’s progress last year.
After keeping pace with ElDo for the first round, St Augustine veered off the championship route with some indifferent play leading to matching results in the second. But coach Kenny Thomas’s side has been hard at work in the off-season. And with the core of last year’s team returning, they will be looking to find the consistency that could finally put them back on the title trail they last travelled in 1995.
Arima Snr Secondary
Losing the nucleus of his 1999 team has not dampened coach Michael Grayson’s spirits. In fact, he appears to be licking his chops in anticipation of the new season.
Together with assistants Dave Weeekes, Owen Tyrel and Peter Lewis, Grayson believes the “Dial Dynamos” have what it takes to repeat their 1997 zonal winning performance.
“We gonna do much better than last year. This year, the East Zone should be a bit more balanced....It should be a tight race for the championships.”
The foundation of his squad will be built on good incoming Arima Junior Secondary players and the much improved team 2001 national players Alf Skeete and Keron Phillips. On that base, the Arima coach hopes to construct a winning season.
San Juan Snr Secondary
Like Arima’s Grayson, coach Bertram O’Brien also harbours championship dreams. But there is a significant gap between dreamland and reality.
O’Brien’s confidence is premised on how well his returning charges Kestern Brito, Devon Prince, Cordell Lucas, Nicholas Jagessar and Anthony Thompson have fared, along with the rest of the Bourg Mulatresse squad, in pre-season camp.
A delayed start to preparations may, according to O’Brien, cause the team to stutter in their first couple of games. But he expects them to find themselves and begin to show their true worth very quickly after that.
Barataria Snr Comprehensive
“It’s a completely new team this year,” Barataria coach Gwenwyn Cust concedes.
In fact, all that remains of the 1999 outfit are three Under-15 players who were instrumental in the school’s capture of the title at that level in the East.
There will be more Under-15 and Under-16 players making their way into the team in an attempt to fill the void left by the departing seniors.
Despite this fact and the diminutive size of his squad, Cust maintains that Barataria’s chances are good and he has high expectations for his charges.
“What we lack in size,” he declared, “we’ll make up for in skill, technique and wit.”
Since the merger of the Central and East Zones in 1998, Presentation have failed to make an impression on the top teams in the zone.
And this season they have to contend with the loss of the influential Ahmed Mohammed and striker Michael Dillon
But coach Glenford Thomas says that his team has given him reason to be optimistic about this season.
“We’ll be looking to place in the first three,” he said, “and hoping to keep the Pres flag flying high as usual in Intercol.”
According to him, there have been marked improvements in attitude to and discipline in training-supervised, in Thomas’s absence, by Kurt Cruickshank, John Thatcher, Hayes Jones and Ian Andrews.
With potent striker Michael Greene, Khayal Hosein, captain Keegan Marcus and the core of the Under-15 team that won the 1998 national title back in the fray, Thomas does seem to have some reason to be sanguine about the immediate fuiture.
Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive
Carapichaima are hoping that new coach Anthony Streete can yield better rewards for the school.
The former professional player with CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh has lost the punch up front that Anthony Fergusson, Mark Billy supplied last year.
But he has retained the Parks brothers, striker Maurice and defender Mark, as well as midfielder Justin Hamilton to assist him in producing the goods this time around.
Manager William Wallace has said that pre-season training has gone extremely well and he expects the more mature and experienced players to step up and give a better showing in the league this year.
1999 placing—newly promoted
Toco’s promotion to the Championship Division for the first time in eight years has been tempered by the fact that eight of the players that helped to get them there won’t be around this season.
What coach Stanley Lee Pow has had to work with after Toco edged Tabaquite 3-2 for the final East Zone spot is a mostly young and inexperienced team.
This in addition to problems with getting their grounds up to standard. Sponsorship of uniforms and transport are two other major concerns.
For him, though, survival is the key.
“The boys are very young and very small physically,” he pointed out.
“Given their age, if we hold on to a place in the championship division, I expect the team to perform very well in subsequent years.”