Secondary Schools - Boys
24 Nov 2011
- Written by Kern De Freitas (T&T Express)
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For Arima North Secondary coach Peter Lewis, it is a "virtual final". For Carapichaima East Secondary, it's a step towards redemption.
Today, the teams will meet in the first Coca Cola InterCol semi-final at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, but only one team will keep their InterCol dream alive.
Arima North last year got as far as the semi-finals, only to be thwarted 2-1 by eventual champions Signal Hill Secondary at the "Larry Gomes". This year, they'll be hoping to go one better.
For "Caps" it was a tough loss to St Anthony's College in the "Big Five" final, and they had no problems getting past their Central Zone opposition once more and into the national InterCol semi-final. Caps last reached the final in 2008, losing to Mucurapo 3-1. Getting past Arima would mean another shot at that elusive national title.
This season, Arima's "Dial Dynamos" finished runners-up in the East Zone league, conceding just four goals. Their only loss for 2011 has come at the hands of East league champs El Dorado East, by a 3-0 scoreline. In East InterCol, Arima have beaten Barataria South Secondary (8-0), St Augustine Secondary (2-1) and San Juan North Secondary (2-0).
Arima will bring their open style of play to today's match, with trickery from Marcus Gomez in the middle of midfield and strong wing play to support striker Kern Roberts. Carapichaima will depend on their passing game, ball possession and overall team work.
Coach Leon Carpette's biggest problem is not his team's opponents; it's making sure the young players stay focused for 90 minutes. In some of their matches—most notably wins against Shiva Boys Hindu College (1-0) and Couva West Secondary (5-2) they tended to drop their intensity.
Carpette has not seen Arima play, but feels the teams from the East could be a "cut above the rest". Still, he is focusing on his own team.
"The mood is alright," Carpette told the Express. "The fellers are positive about it. We're working on a couple of things, and they moving from strength to strength."
Mental preparation and motivation he is hoping will be enough to earn them another final berth.
"I hoping that with two days (training) lip service and demonstrations, (we can) clean up some of the faults from the past games and we should try to eradicate."
Arima North Secondary
"We're not going to underestimate any opponent. We keep every play on the pitch as one that could determine the outcome of the game," says coach Lewis.
He is taking the match very seriously. "One little error could beat us in the game," he adds.
As with Carapichaima's Carpette, Lewis has not seen his opponents, but he has had some feedback . Still, the "Dial Dynamos" will play their own game.
"We're going to go out and play the game and see what they have to offer," he said. "I think we have a pretty good bunch, experienced bunch, and we're going to go out and play the football the way we know to play."
Right now Arima's confidence is high, and they are determined to put away any goal-scoring chances they get.
"We need to remain focused, and work hard and that will bring the necessary results."