Fortress in the Jun­gle

Ar­nett Gar­dens count­ing on home com­forts

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Nod­ley Wright Gleaner Writer

FOR­MER CHAM­PI­ONS Ar­nett Gar­dens will be count­ing on home com­forts to re­turn them to win­ning ways when they host the im­pres­sive debu­tants, Ja­malco, in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).

On Sun­day last, the ‘Junglists’ came from be­hind twice to pull level with UWI FC, but con­ceded late to suf­fer their sec­ond de­feat of the sea­son, both away from home. Home has al­ways been kind to them, and, ac­cord­ing to Coach Jerome Waite, they are gun­ning for their record of two sea­sons ago when they did not lose a sin­gle match at home and went on to claim the ti­tle.

“It is al­ways good to play at your home venue. It is a pos­i­tive in that you are look­ing for­ward to the 13th man – your fans – and the sup­port they give. Our ob­jec­tive is to stay un­beaten at home for a whole year as we did two years ago,” said Waite.

De­spite be­ing a new team, Ja­malco have ac­quit­ted them­selves well since the first day, win­ning three of their six matches, draw­ing once, and los­ing the other two for a to­tal of 10 points. This place has seen them oc­cupy third po­si­tion on goal dif­fer­ence over de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Mon­tego Bay United and Ar­nett Gar­dens. They have also scored the most goals, 10, and Waite is very aware of the threat they pose.

“We ex­pect a tough game based on how they have been per­form­ing all sea­son. I know what they have to of­fer, so I am ex­pect­ing a com­pet­i­tive game,” ex­plained Waite as he high­lighted the im­por­tance of home-crowd sup­port.

Ja­malco’s coach, the young and tal­ented

Rayon John­son, was re­spect­ful of his op­po­nents, yet con­fi­dent.

“Well, go­ing up against a team such as Ar­nett Gar­dens is go­ing to be a tough game and, yes, we have had some set­backs be­cause we were not scor­ing freely in our last two games, but we are con­fi­dent that we will do well,” John­son told the Sun­day Gleaner.

TRUST A PLUS

One of the things that de­fines his team, John­son said, is the trust that they have in what they do.

“I think the thing that de­fines us and makes us tick is the trust. They trust

what we are do­ing and they are will­ing to go out there and do it,” he ex­plained.

To­day, he ex­pects the big three of the com­pe­ti­tion’s joint lead­ing scorer Rohan Richards, Roshane Sharp, and the for­mer Boys’ Town man, An­dre Daw­son, to be his key play­ers, but he warned that oth­ers could sur­prise.

Ar­nett Gar­dens, on the other hand, will be look­ing to na­tional de­fender Di­coy Wil­liams, team cap­tain Oneil Thomp­son, Jabeur John­son, Fabian Reid, as well as Mar­vin Mor­gan and Ke­mal Mal­colm, who were in­tro­duced from the bench last week.

An­other big clash will be that of Boys’ Town and Tivoli Gar­dens where

the teams ap­pear to be go­ing in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. Boys’ Town are climb­ing, while Tivoli Gar­dens are slip­ping and will be miss­ing the in­flu­en­tial Jer­maine John­son, while Boys’ Town will wel­come the fit-again Shamar Ni­chol­son.

The Dono­van Duckie-coached Hum­ble Lion should be fan­cied to edge UWI FC in the top-of-the-table bat­tle at Ef­fortville, while Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den could find it tough play­ing away to Reno FC, es­pe­cially in this the rainy sea­son.

Foot­ball lovers should be en­ter­tained when Mon­tego Bay United host the re­sus­ci­tated Water­house at We­spow

Park. Mon­tego Bay United must be cursing them­selves for fail­ing to de­liver a win last week against bot­tom-of-the-table Har­bour View and the likes of Dino Wil­liams, Allan Ottey and the veteran who re­cently earned his first na­tional cap, Dwayne Am­bus­ley, must be keen to make amends.

Water­house coach Mar­vin Tate, a man who has a his­tory with Mon­tego Bay United, would want to get one over them, as would Jer­main ‘Tuffy’ An­der­son, a man who hails from Mon­tego Bay. The ex­cit­ing skills of the young Ro­dave Murray could also please the fans.

TO­DAY’S GAMES:

3 p.m: Boys’ Town vs Tivoli Gar­dens – Bar­bican Com­plex 3:30 p.m: Reno vs Maver­ley-Hugh­en­den – Frome Com­plex 3:30 p.m: Ar­nett Gar­dens vs Ja­malco – An­thony Spauld­ing Com­plex 3:30 p.m: Mon­tego Bay United vs Water­house – We­spow Park 3:30 p.m: Hum­ble Lion vs UWI FC – Ef­fortville Com­mu­nity Cen­tre 7 p.m: Har­bour View vs Port­more United – Har­bour View Sta­dium

Ar­nett Gar­dens de­fender Di­coy Wil­liams

Ja­malco’s Rohan Richards

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