Magnum JN KSAFA Super League quarter-finals begin on Saturday
The top two finishers in last season’s championship, champions Barbican and runners-up Brown’s Town, believe they have a strong chance of winning when they bow into quarter-final action in the Magnum JN KSAFA Super League football competition on Saturday, at the Constant Spring complex.
Barbican, winners of Zone A, will face the fourth-place team from Zone B, Santos, in the feature match of the doubleheader, beginning at 8:30 p.m. In the opening game at 6:00 p.m., Brown’s Town, which finished second in Zone B, will face the third-place finisher from Zone A, Molynes United.
Saturday’s schedule will also include two matches in the second tier Magnum JN KSAFA Major League, Seaview Gardens vs Greenwich Town at the Barbican playing field and Shortwood United vs New Kingston at Winchester Park, St. George’s College.
Seaview topped Zone A and Greenwich Town finished fourth in Zone B, while Shortwood were second in Zone A and New Kingston fourth.
In the context of placings, that matters little to Barbican's veteran coach and football administrator, Chris James, whose team’s consistency is marked by their quality and distinction of being the only team not to have suffered a loss all season.
“In sizing up the competition, I believe that the quality of this year’s competition is a little bit less than last year, but it is more competitive. The top teams lost a lot of players to the Premier League, so I think Barbican’s chances are very good,” analysed James. “But as usual, we don’t underestimate teams, we’ve to go out there and play on the day.”
On the point of the Premier League, the overall Magnum JN KSAFA Super League champion will advance to the four-team Confederation play-off for the Premiership. They will play a home and away round robin series from which the top two will advance.
Barbican faltered at that hurdle last year and commenting further on his team’s chances of winning the Super League now, James said: “My team is by far the most experienced team in the competition. They’re not 100 percent in terms of their physical conditioning, but we have a lot of quality and we expect to do well in the competition.”
Barbican’s roster includes chief goal-getter, Tajahe Dixon, along with Andrew Christie, Andrew McLeod, and Locksley Thompson.
Despite their form, James is wary of Santos and their veteran coach, Carlton ‘Spanner’ Dennis.
Santos’ core players include midfielder Sherton McPherson, who has been netting most of the goals, along with Shai Smith, Jeffrey Grant, and Lance Rutherford.
In the opening match, Brown’s Town’s motivation will be driven by their overall focus.
“We went to the final last year, so we’re trying our best this year to see if we can go one step further and win,” said Dalton ‘Pastor’ Roberts, one of the team’s assistant coaches.
Molynes United, which is coached by Lijyasu Simms, have been a bit steady and will rely on Tyrik Suthrland, Orane Ferguson, Tyrique Wilson and Patrick Scheklude to help in pulling their effort together.
The quarter-finals will conclude on Sunday, with two matches apiece in the Super and Major leagues.
Brown's Town vs Molynes United at 6:00 pm at Constant Spring
Barbican vs Santos at 8:00 pm at Constant Spring
Seaview Gardens vs Greenwich Town at Barbican at 3:00 pm
Shortwood United vs New Kingston at Winchester Park at 3:00 pm