first_img… Test of wills in tonight’s STAG Elite double-headerBy Ras WadadaAN explosion of wills is anticipated ahead of today’s GFF-STAG Elite League fixture between Buxton United and Monedderlust FC, set for the Tucville Community Centre ground, asSampson ‘Benniah’ Gilbert Sampson ‘Benniah’ GilbertGuyana’s 6-team top flight football continues.Both sides are making their first appearance for this season two and from the confidence exuded by the coaches in charge, fans are in for a special treat in the ‘Eastern derby’ where Buxton hold a psychological advantage. In the four meetings of the Elite competition the Buxtonians have won twice and lost once while the other game was drawn.Coach Herbert ‘Dan’ McPherson, who was at the helm in all meetings, feels his players are prepared and ready for theHerbert ‘Dan’ McPhersonHerbert ‘Dan’ McPhersoncontest. “We have had satisfactory preparations and we are ready for the game. We are really focused as we need to make an early impact and start on a positive note in this first encounter. We are prepared,” the ‘dreadlocked’ McPherson stressed.The coach added that he will be looking to improve on last year’s poor finishing which cost the team a lot of games and this season he will be calling on Delon Wright and Clevon Barnwell to get it right in the attack.“One of the main problems that cost us in the last season was goal-scoring because we created many scoring opportunities but just didn’t finish them and that is what we have mainly focused on in our preparations. I must say we have looked sharper in training. We have no fear for the opposition since we respect every team in the competition and on game day anything can happen.“We go into every game feeling we can win and we feel we can beat any team in this competition; but while we respect every opposition we play, our aim is to win. Of course we feel we can win the Championship, but our first goal is to finish in the top four and then take it from there,” the Buxton coach claimed in an interview with Chronicle Sport yesterday via the telephone.His opposite, Floyd ‘Running Man’ Cadogan, who is in charge at the Number Five Village team, is equally optimistic of the outcome.“I have always been a competitor and I have learnt that if you want to win you have to prepare and we have been on that road for some weeks now and should give a good account for ourselves. Winning is our first objective, but most important is how we play as a team.“This is a good opportunity to test the chemistry to see how ready we are on the pitch. We have been doing a lot of European methods of training, including tactics, and the players have adapted well, I must admit.“I am confident we will give a good account as the players are dedicating the game to the late president and manager, Kevin Layne. Our plan is to go out and secure the victory and three points,” the former national striker shared with Chronicle Sport.Cadogan also informed that young Atlyn Browne has returned after a brief stint in T&T and will boost the attack alongside the exciting Kevin Cotoye.Double-header kick-off time this afternoon is 18:00hrs.Meanwhile early title contenders, Fruta Conquerors FC, are set to add three more points when they confront a battered Victoria Kings in the night cap to follow.“We are very confident of a victory and securing three more maximum points. We are looking forward to play with the same intensity and even give a better show than the last game. We expect that after a team would have lost so heavily like Victoria did, they would go back to the drawing board and try and put in a better performance.“Although we are confident we are looking forward to play with a level of maturity that would inhibit complacency, and we certainly look forward to a challenge from the Kings.“Until the game is over we wouldn’t be taking anything for granted,” coach Sampson ‘Benniah’ Gilbert expressed to Chronicle Sport.The Conquerors line-up in the opening fixture consisted of mostly U-19 players and according to the coach no changes are expected for today’s starting eleven.Jermaine Junior (2) and Kwame La Fleur (1) who scored in the comfortable 3-0 win against Topp XX will again lead the attack in tandem with playmaker Eon Alleyne.After a baptism of goals in their first Elite match the Kings have made some changes and have been hard at training since the embarrassing 7-1 defeat. Efforts to get coach Gavin ‘Jughead’ Huntley via the phone proved futile, but a reliable source indicated the loss impacted heavily on the village and the players, and coaching staff is now under pressure to improve.It has also been whispered that 41-year-old player/coach Winston Pompey is expected to make a return, along with 21-year-old Akeem Holder who has an appetite for scoring goals. His uncle, Andrew ‘Dumb Boy’ Holder has also been added to the coaching staff.Another defeat for the Kings could very well lead to the first coaching casualty of the season. Kick-off time is scheduled for 20:00hrs.last_img

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