Bridge­port Man­ning Cup con­tenders

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Hu­bert Lawrence Gleaner Writer

TEN YEARS ago, Bridge­port High School won the Man­ning Cup with a team cap­tained by Ke­nardo Forbes and in­clud­ing Theo Brown.

Now a stal­wart at Water­house Foot­ball Club, Brown feels his old school has a chance to win the In­terSe­condary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA)/FLOW Man­ning Cup this year.

Speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence, he says vic­tory for Bridge­port would be well re­ceived by the com­mu­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to Brown, the 2016 team has to be­lieve in it­self.

“They have to be­lieve in their goal if they want to achieve it and their first goal was to be in the Su­per Cup,” he as­serted.

“They achieved that, so ba­si­cally their next goal is to achieve the Su­per Cup and to win the Man­ning Cup,” he said.

He re­calls how good he felt when Bridge­port beat Excelsior High 3-1 to

win the Man­ning Cup in 2006.

“It was a nice bunch of guys,” he rem­i­nisced on a unit in­clud­ing Forbes, Theophilus Sa­muels, Ri­cardo Martin, An­dré Clen­non, and a young Dar­ren Mat­tocks.

“It was a fam­ily, not just a team, so it was easy for us to achieve that goal,” he noted.

An­thony Pa­trick was the coach when Brown and his Bridge­port team­mates lifted the Man­ning Cup in 2006, and Brown cred­its Pa­trick for ush­er­ing in an era of fine foot­ball at the school.

Pa­trick is now coach­ing St Cather­ine High School, an­other team in the sec­ond round of the Man­ning Cup.

“He’s a great youth coach,” Brown said.

“You have to look out for him,” he of­fered as an es­ti­ma­tion of how good St Cather­ine could be.

Though Bridge­port lost 0-1 to a pro­lific Kingston Col­lege team in the Walker Cup semi-fi­nal ear­lier this week, Brown thinks the boys fol­low­ing in his footsteps at Bridge­port could suc­ceed. He hopes they start well in the sec­ond round.

“You have to try to win your first two games and make your­self sure of the semi-fi­nal,” he in­structed.

“Bridge­port will meet KC again as the schools are both part of the same sec­ond-round group. St An­drew Tech­ni­cal High School (STATHS) and Char­lie Smith High School are also in that group.

This sea­son, coached by Gar­net Lawrence, Bridge­port have im­pressed by win­ning an ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive Man­ning Cup pre­lim­i­nary round Group G. Lawrence’s play­ers amassed 23 points to fin­ish four clear of Hy­del High, who edged St Jago High for sec­ond on goal dif­fer­ence. The co­or­di­nated team play earned high com­men­da­tion from Hy­del High’s coach, Dono­van Duckie.

He said: “There’s a qual­ity team, hands down.”

To ad­vance to the Walker Cup semi­fi­nal, Bridge­port out­played Den­ham Town High School 2-0.

Brown would be over­joyed if the 2016 Bridge­port squad could win the Man­ning Cup.

“They’re not just play­ing for them­selves,” he ex­plained. “They’re play­ing for the whole Bridge­port, the whole com­mu­nity. It would be a great achieve­ment, not for me alone, but for a lot of past stu­dents.”

RI­CARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Bridge­port’s Shane Moodie at­tempts a clear­ance while Den­ham Town’s She­mar Thomp­son heads the ball duri­ing the ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup foot­ball match at Con­stant Spring Com­plex on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 10, 2016. Bridge­port won 2-0.

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