Hydel's Huie chides critics of new Walker Cup format

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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Hydel High are heading to their second-ever senior schoolboy football final, this after getting past a plucky Cumberland High School 2-0 in the semi-final of the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup last Friday.

They will contest the final against Excelsior High tomorrow, looking to do one better than they did in the Manning Cup final five years ago.

Assistant Coach Karumie Huie explained how difficult the semi-final was to navigate from a mental and physical perspective.

“First, I want to say thanks to the team. It was a difficulty to get them up (mentally) but it is a good result; it is a final that we will be playing. Playing a semi-final, you expect the team that you are playing not to give you everything.

“I don't want anybody to say that Cumberland is an easy game. It is not an easy game because if you look at it, in the second half we were up 2-0, [and] I think we slackened off and gave them more time and space, so they were able to create opportunities. So we need to work on that, that you don't finish the game until the 90 minutes is over,” he said.

Highlighting the school's pedigree at this level, Huie challenged the detractors to desist from devaluing the Walker Cup competition and the trophy itself.

“We went to the Manning Cup final in 2014 against St George's College. It is a big cup, so I want people to remember that Walker Cup is a very prestigious cup. I hear people talk that it is the losers' cup; I don't want anybody to say that. The Walker Cup is a prestigious cup and for us to be in a final, even for a tea cup, I want to be there,” he suggested.

Huie also believes that the school will benefit from the success of taking home silverware this year, should they manage to do so.

“Anytime you can get your school into a final, it brings a different element where it brings a marketing part to the school and they know that you are doing something good. So for a school that is known for track and field, football is something that is also there — so we are putting the school on the map,” he noted.

While not slighting his opponents, the dreadlocked coach will be taking a positive approach to the final against one of the most successful schools in this particular competition.

“You always have to think positive, but you have to respect your opponent. You don't go in there with any fear, but you always have to respect whichever team you play. Excelsior is a well known traditional school… so it's going to be a challenge… so we have to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually,” Huie said.

Huie, who has also coached Kingston Technical High School at the Manning Cup level, desperately wants to begin a winning tradition at the Ferry-based institution.

“It would be good to win it. If it is one thing I learn about life, winning follows you, and to win this cup would mean a lot for mean personally, for the school, for the principal, for the whole community,” he ended.

— Dwayne Richards

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