Clarendon College’s (CC) double winning football team of 2019 did not hold back with celebrations as they did last week after their ISSA/WATA DaCosta Cup victory. Then, they said they would have low key celebrations as they were still fully focused on the upcoming ISSA Olivier Shield trophy. Now that they have claimed that trophy as well, with a 4-1 penalty shoot out win over Jamaica College after a 1-1 draw in relegation time, the Chapelton-based school has kept its promise of a proper celebration to the communities of Clarendon by holding a motorcade through the parish’s streets yesterday.
The team celebrated victories in both competitions with devotion at the school and a motorcade through adjoining communities. They also made stops at a number of other institutions including, Fogo Road High School, where they posed for pictures with Foga principal Kenrith Campbell, students, and members of that football team. The motorcade ended at KFC in May Pen.
“It was pure jubilation,” team manager Richard Palmer said. “We went into the communities, to Fogo Road High and took pictures. We went to other schools and some junior schools in nearby communities and it was a nice feeling. We brought the celebration all the way to May Pen because we had something to celebrate and it’s a real good end.”
Palmer describes CC’s retention of the Oliver Shield as ‘special’.
Clarendon scored a late equaliser through goalkeeper Prince-Daniel Smith in the fifth minute of added time in Saturday’s final at the National Stadium to send the game into penalties, where Clarendon won 4-1 to lift the trophy for a second successive season.
“The whole season, we drilled these youths to believe, don’t give up, think as champions. We let them know they are the best team in the country, so the belief was there. Even the goalkeeper, [in his] interview, he talked about the belief. So I never wrote them off. I don’t know why, but I never felt like I should, even though we were down, I didn’t feel we were going to lose.”
Palmer says technical director, Lenworth Hyde’s reaction to Smith’s venture upfield late in the game, was an indication they were on the right track.
“Lenny is a man, usually, when it comes to players coming out of their position or not doing what he wants them to do, it causes problems,” he said. “And when the goalkeeper was walking down to the other goal, Lenny never said anything, he just folded his hands and watched him. So he didn’t listened to anybody (to stay back) because Lenny didn’t say anything to him. So when he did it, all I could say is just ‘Jah works’. This one is sweeter than honey. I have never seen this happen in schoolboy football.”
Palmer thinks CC’s decision not to celebrate their DaCosta Cup win excessively last week, and stay focused until they completed their season, also played a role in their late fight back.
“We were expected to win all three trophies (including the ISSA Champions Cup), and we told the players we would not celebrate until we won the last one, the Oliver Shield,” he said. “So we stayed humble and focused, even when we won the first trophy, our body language said it was just another game. But on Saturday, the journey was completed and we expressed ourselves after the game.”
Hyde, says CC have a solid programme at the school, managed by highly professional personnel and he believes things are in place for the school to win three straight DaCosta Cups and Olivier Shield titles.
“I am grateful and thankful for the victory, but it’s our programme and our management,” he said. “We have talented players and we instil discipline, hard work and perseverance. The programme is good for the players and the school, and we are aiming for next season again,”