Things are expected to heat up once the first four teams take to the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey Turf when the Capelli SuperCup returns tonight.
First out the blocks are Ellerton, who racked up a whopping 20 goals to finish top of Group D in the qualifying rounds.
Head coach Corey “Beenie Man” Barrow said the team was not arrogant or cocky, but instead was full of confidence.
“The men are hype and we plan to keep up the tempo and keep up the intensity. We’re not going to underestimate any team, we’re going to score goals because goals win games,” he said.
Presently Shakille Belle and Shaquan Clarke are leading the top of the goal scorers along with Wales’ Arantees Lawrence and Riverre Williams on six goals each.
Barrow said they intended to widen that bracket.
“We’re going to create as much chances as possible so they in turn, will have the chances to score and win this tournament,” he said.
Pride of Gall Hill, who upset UWI Blackbirds by edging them 1-0 in their final game to take the lead in Group C will face Ellerton in the first game.
Head coach of the senior team Barry Taylor noted while Ellerton was going to be a tough opponent, the same way they were able to upset UWI, they would go in with a game plan to do their best against Ellerton.
“The plan is to go out and play football. If you look at Gall Hill you will see that we only conceded one goal from the penalty spot and not from open play. We know there were certain areas of the game we had to improve on, and I think that the fellas came out and trained and we will know for sure tonight if they really improved on it. Gall Hill is getting back to where it was in the days of Premier League,” he said.
Following this game, they will face Youth Milan in their second Championship game.
“Youth Milan looks far better in this competition than in some of the games I watched them play in [last season’s] Premier League. I am not treating anyone lightly in this competition. It is a competition that everyone is going after the $50, 000 and they are all stepping up their game,” he said.
Meanwhile, dark horses Silver Sands, who sent Brittons Hill packing in their Group A encounter is said to be eager.
Manager of the team, Adrian Watkins said while they too were not going to underestimate their first opponent in the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) they also should not be underestimated.
“The team has been training and putting in a lot of groundwork prior to the Capelli tournament. Being recently promoted to Premier League, we can’t be playing shabby. The coach Shirlan Gibbons, a former national player, is doing an excellent job and management staff is in full support.
“They are 90 per cent physically prepared and are set to put up a good fight, so we’re looking forward to a good game tonight against BDF. We’re not going to underestimate them, but at the same time they cannot underestimate us either,” he said.
However, he said they were definitely looking to cop a win against the St Andrew Lions.
“I don’t fear St Andrew Lions. The only team I fear is BDF. I am looking to get a point out of the BDF game; a point or three points. I am not looking for a loss and definitely three points from St Andrew Lions. I am looking to book a spot in the quarterfinals,” he declared.
The soldiers, on the other hand, were confident that they have what it takes to get through to the quarterfinals with a smooth finish.
Manager of the team Tahir Batson said while they finished top of Group E with 14 goals, one of the reasons the margin was not bigger was because once they realized they were in a comfortable position, they made some tactical attacking changes to ensure other players were given exposure or playing time.
“Silver Sands are deemed to be a pretty good team, especially proving it by progressing into the next round of this tournament, so they definitely are not to be underestimated. The game plan remains the same; we will put our strongest team out there and we will monitor and see how it goes, then we will make some decisions for changes in the second half if needed,” he said.
And while they are confident to gain a win over St Andrew Lions, they are not going to be celebrating until the deed is done.
“I don’t really like to underestimate teams, but I do believe that those teams have a fright for the BDFSP, which will definitely put fear in their hearts when coming up against us. Our plan for those teams is to just go out there and give of our best, and once we do that we will be victorious knowing the quality of my team.
“I have 8 players who just returned from playing with the National Team and displaying a performance against U.S. Virgin Islands that proves we are a team to reckon with. They are very anxious to continue playing in the Capelli Cup and are in a condition as long as injuries don’t affect them to dominate and become the Champions,” he said.