Bridgeport look to spring surprises this season

Observer staff reporter

Friday, September 07, 2018

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Despite his squad's lack of experience, Garnet Lawrence, coach of Brigdgeport High School, believes his young side is more than capable of making their presence felt throughout the 2018 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition.

Winner of the coveted title on two occasions in 2001 and 2006, Bridgeport High did well last season, finishing in the top eight of the Manning Cup. They also made it to the quarter-finals in the Walker Cup Knockout but were beaten by Calabar High on penalties.

In 2001 Bridgeport High announced themselves in Corporate Area football by winning both the Manning Cup and Walker Cup titles, which made them the first school not only in Portmore but in St Catherine to have achieved that feat.

Since then, Bridgeport High were unable to make any real, significant impact in the Manning Cup competition until last year.

According to Lawrence, he is hoping to better last year's quarter-final achievement.

“They (players) are coming on [well], they are really coming on [well]. We are hoping for a good season this year as much as we have a lot of immaturity in the team. I mean, this is a totally brand-new team from last season,” said Lawrence.

“I believe this team needs time to grow if they are going to do better than what we did last year. It would be a plus in every direction, but the confidence level we have in this young bunch of players is that we want to go all the way as well. We want to even go further than last year. We have very high expectations,” Lawrence told the Jamaica Observer.

The two-time Manning Cup champions are drawn in a Group D alongside Denham Town High, neighbours Greater Portmore High, Innswood High, St Jago High, and Tivoli Gardens High.

Bridgeport will open their account against hosts Greater Portmore on Monday before taking on Innswood next week Saturday, September 13.

Although the group is expected to be a very competitive and crucial one, Lawrence remains confident in his charges to raise their game significantly.

“We are in a very tough group. I think you have three of the teams that went to the second round last year that is in this group, and if they are not rebuilding that means that they supposed to have a strong teams,” he noted.

“We are rebuilding, but I think what we have is [a system]. We build our team from the Pepsi (Under-14) competition coming straight up and so we have a system. What we have to do now is to get tough and try to get mature in time for the Manning Cup season,” Lawrence said.

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