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Parish starting to grow in confidence

Hamilton Parish hope to carry on from last weekend's first win of the season against Devonshire Colts in the Friendship Trophy when they take on Devonshire Cougars in a bottom-of-the-table clash at Wellington Oval on Sunday.

A semi-final with one of the “big three” awaits Parish in tomorrow's Friendship Trophy draw before they switch their focus back to Cougars in Sunday's crucial Premier Division encounter.

Parish are still the only team in the top flight without a league win, but coach Phillip Burgess feels things are changing after a difficult first three months of the season.

Parish reached the final of the Friendship Trophy in 2013-14, losing 4-1 to Somerset Trojans who are also in the last four along with North Village and PHC Zebras. They are the three most successful teams in the competition, leaving Parish as the dark horses.

“I don't have a preference, I look at the league as whoever is hungry the most will come out on top,” Burgess said. “I know the football standard is not where we expect it to be as coaches and others looking on, but at any given time any team can beat anybody.

“All three teams will have high confidence and any one of the three is going to look at us as underdogs anyway. Parish have a good reputation in cup games so that will give the guys some inspiration, playing for a trophy. Our background shows we always step up for a cup game and so we can use that as motivation to get up for the game.”

A late Patrick Richardson goal gave Parish victory against Colts as Burgess's side followed up their 5-1 loss to Dandy Town by drawing with Southampton Rangers the following weekend. Victory on Sunday would move the bottom team level on points with Cougars.

“Our morale is coming, the win on Sunday gives the guys some encouragement to work a little harder in training and to play as a team,” Burgess said. “We saw that on Sunday with a couple of college boys back which gave us a boost.”

The coach has his son, Phillip Jr, and nephew Shakeem Albuoy back for Christmas and both played against Colts and will be a bonus for the team against Cougars.

The coach will miss the Cougars match as he is at his other son Aaron's school in Florida, leaving Leroy “Nibs” Lewis, the Parish technical director, to help assistant coach Cymande Davis with the team. Lewis established himself as a top coach while at former club PHC whom he led to several trophies.

“No, I won't be back for Sunday, I'm at IMG where my son is playing in his last tournament,” Burgess said.

“We're not playing badly, when teams come to play us it's not a walk in the park. We've been losing by the odd goal except for Dandy Town when we were outplayed. We're still fighting and we're still in it and we try to give that encouragement to the players.

“Coach ‘Nibs' has got them this weekend with Cymande and they will motivate them and get them ready. ‘Nibs' has always been on the side, giving some encouragement in training and helping out with the guys and the guys respect him as a senior coach.”

On the up: Chris Caisey, left, the Parish midfielder, races past Drewonde Bascome of Dandy Town at Wellington Oval. The two sides meet again in the Premier Division this weekend

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Published December 17, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 17, 2015 at 12:08 am)

Parish starting to grow in confidence

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