Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Increasing problems for Cavalier ahead of JPL semi-final clash

Published:Monday | May 29, 2023 | 1:14 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Timar Lewis of Harbour View
Timar Lewis of Harbour View
Cavalier’s forward Collin Anderson
Cavalier’s forward Collin Anderson

Cavalier will go into today’s Jamaica Premier League (JPL) semi-final clash against defending champions Harbour View at 5 p.m. at Sabina Park far from the mental state coach Rudolph Speid would like to see his team in.

Following the theft of valuable items and money during their Lynk Cup final at Sabina Park on Friday, Speid revealed that his team is yet to recover.

“We trained this morning (Sunday), but the bigger issue is most of them are in a not-so-good (mental) state.

“We left the venue (Sabina Park) after midnight. We had to get a wrecker to move the captain’s car because we didn’t want to leave it because the thieves had the key,” he said.

He pointed out that because they cancelled Saturday morning’s training session, their recovery process has also been bad, and players such as Shaneil Thomas, Brian Elshot, and Makenson Cadet are out injured while on-loan Ronaldo Robinson cannot play against his parent club.

“So we have a lot of issues. We only have 18 players available. But we won’t cry. We will try to get them in the best frame of mind we can, and we will come and do what we have to do,” he said.

“It’s in our nature to fight, and like we did on Friday we were disappointed, but we came out and tried, and we will come and try again. We will not give up,” he added.

Harbour View’s coach, Ludlow Bernard will, however, not be taking Cavalier for granted despite the club’s problems.

They lost the Lynk Cup third-place match on Friday with an understrength team, but Bernard was pleased with what he saw from some of his players ahead of today’s match- up.

“I saw some things both ways. It was important to get certain players on the pitch because going forward, I need to know exactly what I have in store.

“We have time to get some persons up. Young (Casseam) Priestly is not up for it as yet, but there were some people who really stood out.”

Harbour View have had the upper hand, after a win and a draw, over Cavalier this season, but Bernard knows all too well that his counterpart, Speid, will have something up his sleeve, and he anticipates matching wits with his opposing number.

“I sit and observe not only the players, but the coach. I think this will be a game of coach versus coach,” he stated.

In the second game at 7:30 p.m., Mount Pleasant play Arnett Gardens and both teams expect a very competitive game.

“Arnett are a tough team, and you cannot deny that fact. But it is for us to prepare ourselves physically and mentally,” said Mount Pleasant coach Theodore Whitmore.

Arnett Gardens’ captain Fabian Reid said the two weeks rest period has been great for his team and they are ready.

“The vibes in the team are right. We have been playing some practice games throughout, so we haven’t been resting. So we are ready. We will be going hard. There are three games left, and we will treat all of them like a final,” he said.