Portmore United brace for busy schedule
Portmore United will contest Group B of the Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship and will match strides with 2018 winners Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic and Haiti’s Arcahaie F.C.
Portmore United’s head coach Ricardo Gardner says his club is bracing itself for upcoming Concacaf competitions.
The former Reggae Boy captain points to the challenge of the busy schedule but notes that competing in the Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship (CCCC) and the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) present a platform for growth and development for the club.
Portmore, the Jamaican Premier League and 2019 CCCC champion will contest Group B and will match strides with 2018 winners Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic and Haiti’s Arcahaie F.C.
In Group A, another Jamaican club Waterhouse F.C. will go up against 2017 champions Cibao F.C. of the Dominican Republic and Haiti’s Don Bosco F.C.
The group stage competition will be played at Kingston’s Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex January 29-February 9.
“The CCCC fits very well into our technical ambitions and we appreciate the next nine weeks will be extremely challenging for us with Premier League, CCCC and SCCL.
“It’s a tremendous number of matches to play over the period and we will need a healthy and also deep squad, and strategically we have incorporated the core of our Under-20 talent into our squad. I must say we’re very pleased so far with their transitioning and their growth potential is fantastic,” said Gardner, who has taken the reins of Portmore this season.
The former Bolton Wanderers star says the secret to handling such a busy Concacaf schedule and the club’s domestic obligations is to go step by step.
“We will continue to focus a game at a time as we go along, but our planning has already factored all the ramifications,” he told concacaf.com.
Meanwhile, the club’s General Manager Clive Marshall is hoping that football-loving Jamaicans turn out in their numbers to support the local teams and the competition in general.
“Our objective is to have tremendous fan support in the venue motivating Waterhouse and Portmore, and it would be fantastic for both teams to qualify for the final in May,” he said.
After round-robin play in the CCCC, the top-two finishers of each group will advance to the final stage. The final stage [semifinals, third-place match and final] will be played May 8-14 at a venue to be announced.
At the conclusion of the event, the champion will qualify for the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, while the runners-up and third-place finishers will qualify for the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League.
The loser of the third-place match will face the winner of the 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield in a play-off match to determine who will be the third Caribbean representative in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League.
Portmore United, the reigning Caribbean club champion, also has an important assignment in the Round of 16 of SCCL when they go up against Mexican giant Cruz Azul in Kingston on February 18.
The return-leg in Mexico is slated for February 25.