DESPITE Christianburg/Wismar Secondary’s juggernaut status in the Digicel Schools Football tournament, their clash against Chase Academy tomorrow in the final is far from being a David versus Goliath battle.
It will be the Lindeners’ fifth consecutive appearance in the final, having lost only to Georgetown Technical Institute (GTI) in the tournament’s first installation – a record the school’s head coach Anthony Stephens says he will let God decide when it will be broken.
As for their (Linden) opponents, coach Vurlon Mills is adamant that the title will be coming back to Georgetown, where he said it belongs, despite showering the defending champs with praise for not only being the number one football-playing school in Guyana, but sticking to a programme that works.
While it is the first meeting in the Digicel football tournament, the two schools had met twice earlier this year in a scrimmage/practice match; drawing the first game 1-1 and Christianburg/Wismar walking away 4-3 winners in the other contest.
“The results of the practice matches mean nothing to us,” said Mills. The diminutive attacking midfield player is one of Guyana’s most gifted football players, being a prominent member of the Golden Jaguars.
But over the last two years, Mills has decided to take another approach to the game; one which will allow him to impart his wealth of knowledge in the sport – coaching.
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF), in recognising his ability to connect to players and translate the game of football to youngsters, has made him a ‘mentor coach’ while pushing him along the lines of being certified.
“From what I know, the champions will be the ones who are always under pressure so my team have nothing to lose. I see them working hard to win this because they understand the task that is ahead. ‘Multi’ are a good team and they didn’t win all the time by mistake. It shows that Multi got a bunch of committed players that are dedicated to the sport, so I know we have to go out and do our best,” Mills added.
Stephens however stated, “We’ll go out there and play, and we let God decide the winners of the game.”
Asked what is his formula for success, Stephens attributed the love for sports in his school and the fact that his players are all members of clubs in Linden.
“We don’t play school teams. We always want to keep our level of play high, so when we’re training and want practice games we use the first division clubs in Linden. (As a) matter of fact, I want to thank those clubs for working with these guys so when they come to me in the school, it makes my job easy. The players all play first division which makes them seem tougher than the other teams,” Stephens calmly stated at yesterday’s press conference.
The winners will pocket $1M for their school. Kick-off time is 18:00hrs.