ST Benedict’s College strength and conditioning coach Markita Joseph said the players are relaxed ahead of their clash against Signal Hill Secondary in the first match of a Tiger Tanks Coca Cola Intercol semi-final doubleheader on Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. Kick off is at 3 pm.
St Benedict's, also called the La Romaine Lions, are in the hunt for a triple crown this Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) season, after copping the Premiership division and the South Zone Intercol titles.
On November 25, St Benedict’s won the South Intercol crown after getting past Presentation College San Fernando 4-3 on penalties at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
St Benedict’s captured the premiership crown with a 3-1 victory over Fatima College in the final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on October 26.
Joseph said the mood in the camp is upbeat ahead of Saturday’s match. “At the moment they are relaxed, just thinking about how we moving forward onto the next game and thinking about what strategies the other team would come with…and how we going to implement our strategy on that day,” he said.
One difference between St Benedict’s and Fatima in the SSFL premiership final was the speed of the La Romaine Lions.
Joseph said she is never completely satisfied with the fitness standards, but said the players have been working hard.
“At the moment, yes, I am (happy) but no coach will really accept that we reached the level that we should be. At the moment most of them are fit and ready and we just looking forward (to the game).”
Joseph said running and gym work are part of the fitness programme.
As the season winds down, Joseph said the workload of the players must be managed.
“The boys are fit, but coming down to the end of the season you need to maintain some of the players' (energy levels) as well because some of the games will be a little enduring, but it is just the recovery time and what we do in the recovery time as well is important.”
Signal Hill won the Intercol Tobago zone title with a victory on penalties over Mason Hall Secondary at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet on November 22.
North Zone Intercol champions Fatima and East Zone winners Trinity College East will meet in the second Intercol semi-final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 5 pm on Saturday.
Fatima defeated Queen’s Royal College 5-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 18 to lift the North Zone title, and Trinity East upset San Juan North Secondary 1-0 on November 23 at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima to claim the East crown.