Morton tells players to stick to game plan
Scott Morton is again on the verge of winning his first trophy as PHC Zebras coach but he knows from the recent loss to Devonshire Cougars in the Dudley Eve final that nothing is guaranteed.
Morton succeeded Mark Wade, who has since become the Bermuda Football Association president, and has quickly built on the team’s success last season when they won the Dudley Eve Trophy after beating Robin Hood at Wellington Oval.
Zebras return to St George’s for Sunday’s Friendship Trophy final hoping to produce the same outcome, although Morton stressed it is all about getting the team to play good football.
“Wins and goals don’t dictate my philosophy,” Morton said after Tuesday’s semi-final victory over Dandy Town. “What dictates my philosophy is the way that we play, the belief and the confidence and the players understanding what is required and executing it to the best of their ability,”
That win took PHC into their seventeenth Friendship Trophy final and within one win of tying North Village and Somerset Trojans for the most titles (11). They reached last year’s final where they lost to Somerset 2-1 at Somerset Cricket Club.
PHC previously lifted the trophy during 2008-09 season when they beat Southampton Rangers by that same scoreline.
“The goals are the icing on the cake, but everything else is critical,” Morton said. “We’re definitely looking forward to another venue, it will be good to get down to the east. We’re looking forward to playing Cougars, who I know will be a difficult opponent.
“They have been playing well and I’m really impressed with what they’ve been doing with that young team and with their coach [Omar Butterfield]. They deserve to be where they are. It’s just another game, it’s the process first and the result will take care of itself.”
Cougars turned the tables on PHC by winning the Dudley Eve Trophy final at Devonshire Recreation Club last month.
Their climb to fourth in the league has surprised many but their two recent victories over Village, including the 3-1 semi-final win on Boxing Day, will be good cause for PHC not to take them lightly. Cougars unleashed a secret weapon in the form of Domico Coddington who came back from his new home in England for the Christmas holidays and brought cheer to the club by scoring two goals after coming on as a second-half substitute.
PHC and Cougars last met in the Friendship Trophy final during the 2004-05 season when Cougars won 3-1 for their first title. Their second triumph in the competition came during the 2012-13 campaign when they beat Dandy Town on penalties, on their way to winning the Triple Crown. Coddington was a part of that Cougars team that won the league, FA Cup and Friendship Trophy.
BAA will be looking to retain their Shield Trophy title when they take on home side St George’s Colts in Sunday’s opening game.
BAA lost 3-1 at Wellington Oval three weeks ago, but they have a few players back from overseas studies and will be confident, especially after the 7-1 trouncing of unbeaten league leaders Young Men’s Social Club in the semi-finals on Boxing Day.
BAA beat X-Roads on penalties in last year’s final to claim their third Shield Trophy title.
They were the first team to repeat as champions after back-to-back wins in 1993 and 1994. Hamilton Parish are the first team to win three straight titles after their triumphs in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
St George’s, who beat BAA for their first Shield Trophy victory during the 1978-79 season, have won the Shield Trophy five times, most recently in 2010 when they beat Prospect 2-0 in the final. Jarreau Hayward scored their opening goal in that final.
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