Goal-happy Vasco have Corona title in sight
Vasco FC coach Joe Barbosa is thrilled with how his side has set the Corona League season alight by winning ten of their 11 matches to sit atop the standings by a comfortable nine points,
writes Derek deChabert.
The side have relied upon a good blend of youth and experience so far in their campaign as they look to win the second edition of the league, with second placed North Village well off the pace.
Vasco boast a wealth of experience with the likes of Marvin Belboda, Sheridan Ming, Quincy Aberdeen, Troy Hall and Otis Steede, to go along with Rui Furtado, Rich Holden and Kennedy Wainwright.
For Barbosa, who along with former Boulevard coach John Rebello have guided the team to the summit of the table, it is a sign of how well the team has come together for a common goal this term.
“The main priority for the club this year was to win the Corona League,” said Barbosa. “Having been close last year the club was committed to going one step further this year.
“We knew we had the nucleus of a good team that could compete for the title but unless we added some depth and quality in key positions, we knew there was a risk that we would still come up short.
“Ahead of the current season, the executives of the club met with John (Rebello), about providing his assistance and guidance to the management of the football team. John's involvement with Vasco, his knowledge of the game and his ability to attract good players has been key to the team's success thus far.
“The overall team fitness level and depth of the squad has also been key.”
Vasco have had a fairly easy time of things in the first half, scoring an incredible 58 goals while letting in only 12, a goal difference that no other team is even remotely close to.
During their unbeaten run, only Tuff Dogs managed to get something out of their game, a 2-2 draw, while St. David's felt the full brunt of what the club were capable of, being thrashed 18-2 in their match against the leaders.
With the Christmas break allowing teams to regroup, Barbosa made it clear that their main goal was still to lift the title.
“Winning the Corona League is still the number one priority. Going undefeated through the season would be a bonus but we'll take one game at a time.
“I think as the season has progressed, we've been able to develop a winning mentality, that means that no matter how you fare at certain times in a game, you always feel that you can recover either by making changes off the bench or by making tactical changes on the field.
“We have quality players competing for places, so this drives a player to want to perform. It's a fun but competitive league with some good teams.
“The better teams are those that take a more professional approach to their training and fitness levels. Our players have a good attitude and commitment level and respect the goals set out by the club at the beginning of the season.
“It hasn't always been easy as we've lost some good players that have been a part of Vasco for many years.”