BACKED by an entire community, San Juan North Secondary are hoping to reclaim their title as Coca Cola National Intercol champions when the final kicks off today at 5.15 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. Standing in their way are defending champions and favourites Naparima College who are seeking to become the first team to go undefeated for an entire campaign.
Naps have already picked up two titles this season but want the coveted treble to complete a remarkable season.
The first match of today’s double header will see Pleasantville Secondary battling Signal Hill Secondary for the Girls Intercol crown at 3 pm.
Speaking at yesterday’s pre-match press conference, San Juan North’s team manager, Steven Clarke said, “Naparima were very successful this season so we know we are up against a very formidable opposition and consistent team. However, this is our third straight Intercol final, so we are a proven knockout opponent and we would be looking towards bringing back home our title which we lost last season.”
San Juan North were dethroned by Shiva Boys College in last year’s final and captain Ronaldo Boyce said his troops are ready. Despite suffering some injuries in their semi-final encounter with Signal Hill, he said, “The team will be physically ready for the match and there is a positive mood in the camp as we have played at this level before. It is an exciting moment for us.” Boyce recalled the encounter against Naps in the league where they suffered a 3-2 loss.
“It was an unlucky day on the field for us, but tomorrow (today) football will be the winner,” he declared.
Naparima have won three out of the last five league titles, but are hoping to get their hands on a title which has eluded them since 2015. Head coach Angus Eve said, “We have been preparing for this opportunity since the beginning of the season and the guys are very focused on the task at hand.” He continued, “We expect a solid fight against a worthy opponent in San Juan North and may the best team win.”
In the Girls Intercol final, Pleasantville Secondary will be facing Tobago champs Signal Hill. Head coach of “P’ville”, Joel Maloney said, “Our team is very excited for the game because last year we lost really bad in the final, and this year the team came out and only conceded three goals for the entire season. This shows they learned from their mistakes and were determined to correct them for a chance to redeem themselves.”
P’Ville’s captain, Latifha Pascal is also geared up for her team’s encounter. She noted, “Firstly, without God we would not have made it this far at all, but we trained and worked hard and kept the faith. We really love this game of football so we are glad to have this opportunity to represent our school at this level.”