Cavalier's Speid wary of wounded Boys' Town
Two of the older clubs in local football, Cavalier and Boys' Town, will meet at Stadium East in one of five matches in the Red Stripe Premier League today.
There will be no trading of old tales today for long-time fans or players as the current fortunes of the clubs are almost as far as the east is from the west. Cavalier, known as the 'Duncan Destroyers' in their heyday when they were under the guidance of Leighton Duncan, are in fourth position in the 12-team league, with dreams of the title; Boys' Town, or 'Colour Red', are a far cry from the team which once featured former national coach Carl Brown, his brother Les, Derrick 'Shastri' Dennicer, the Hardware brothers, Donovan Downer, among others, are rooted to the bottom of the table and are battling for and dreaming of survival - again.
Rudolph Speid, the man now at the helm of Cavalier, and one who is shaping the club in an image to his liking, will not be taking anything for granted when the two teams meet, and rightly so. Both teams ended 1-1 in their first meeting of the season.
"The Boys' Town that are playing now are not the Boys' Town of the first 18 games," Speid said of his opponents.
"Boys' Town are a different Boys' Town now. They have added about four or five quality players," added Speid, making reference to Bebeto McDonald, Shawn McKoy, Andre Dawson and Javaughn Mitchell, who were drafted since the opening of the transfer window on January 2.
Also introduced by Speid was the fact that Boys' Town are 'wounded' and this, he believes, makes them dangerous.
Boys' Town's Andrew Price, while not a resident of the area, is a former player and the man who led them back to the premier league after a lengthy stay in the lower league, understands the meaning of survival to the people of Boys' Town.
"It will be tough. Cavalier have a quality youthful aggregation and they will be tough. We, however, are up for it and we need to get the train rolling now so it is important that we do," Price said.
The four players brought in will aid their fight against relegation, Price said, adding that the support that they will give to the likes of leading scorer Jamiel Hardware, a second-generation representative of the club, Daemion Benjamin, Xavian Virgo, Michael Campbell and Garfield Gillespie.
Schoolboys Shaquille Bradford and Jermaine Lyons are expected to play their part.
Cavalier, on the other hand, will rely on the leadership and play of Chevone Marsh, Alex Marshall, Nicholas Hamilton and new boy, former national youth player Paul 'Kiki' Wilson.
At the Harbour View Stadium, the home team should experience little home comforts if leaders Portmore United report in a similarly rampant mood to the one which saw them dismantle defending champions Arnett Gardens 5-1. Jovan East is playing like a man on a mission and will be keen to add to his goal tally of 12.
Humble Lion, despite their new coach and the addition of striker Craig Foster, have not really turned their fortunes around and are sitting in 10th position, just above the relegation zone. A favourable result against third-place Tivoli Gardens - an unlikely result - would be a big boost to them and their supporters.
Sandals South Coast have been fighting for their survival and a win against the inconsistent UWI FC will strengthen their belief. The pride of UWI FC will not allow them to be beaten by Sandals, especially at home.
- 5 p.m.: Cavalier vs Boys' Town - Stadium East
- 7 p.m.: Harbour View vs Portmore United - Harbour View Stadium
- 3 p.m.: Humble Lion vs Tivoli Gardens - Effortville Community Centre
- 3 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Waterhouse - Wespow Park
- 3 p.m.: UWI FC vs Sandals South Coast - Mona Bowl
- 8:35 p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs Reno - Anthony Spaulding Complex