Unbeaten St George’s on track for promotion
St George’s have set their sights firmly on promotion after remaining unbeaten in their first nine games of the First Division season.
The East Enders, who have won eight of their nine league matches, have a six-point advantage over second-place Devonshire Colts; however, player-coach Jarreau Hayward insists the title race is far from decided.
“There are several teams challenging for the title — Devonshire Colts, Vasco, although they have been in a recent slump, St David’s and Flanagan’s are all pushing for promotion,” Hayward said. “We have a very good chance of getting promoted and we will have to work hard for it because nothing comes easy.”
Hayward could not have hoped for a better start since taking the coaching reins at the beginning of the season and would love to cap off his maiden campaign in charge with a trophy.
“[Promotion] would mean a lot to me, but more importantly, it will mean a lot to the St George’s community,” the 34-year-old forward said.
“We haven’t won a trophy in a while, so a trophy this season would give us East End bragging rights.”
Damon Darrell and Jahron Dickinson are St George’s top scorers on four each in the league, while goalkeeper Mishael Paynter has kept seven clean sheets. They also have the best defensive record in the division, having conceded just three goals this term.
Hayward believes his team’s fighting spirit and work ethic has been a major part of their success.
“We have shown a lot of heart, you can’t teach that,” he added. “I’m thankful to my players for showing so much determination, and that’s why we are where we are, and it will help us moving forward.
“We have to focus on the next game, and the next one, when it comes. We are not looking too far ahead of ourselves.”
St George’s, who finished third last season, missing out on promotion, have a deep squad, which includes eight players from their under-17 team.
Hayward believes this could prove important going down the stretch towards the end of the season.
“We have a very deep squad, and that helps a lot, given the competitions we are involved in every season,” he said. “Eight of our under-17 players are also eligible to play for the senior team.
“I select my teams based on merit and those who show up regularly to training or perform well on the pitch.
“Our players look forward to playing every match, and that is a big asset to have, because it makes my selection process easier.”
St George’s continue their quest for the title when they host bottom side Ireland Rangers at Wellington Oval on Sunday.
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