PHC captain Marco Warren up for Friendship Trophy semi-final showdown with Somerset Trojans
Marco Warren, the PHC Zebras captain, is looking forward to his team’s Friendship Trophy semi-final with perennial rivals Somerset Trojans for a number of reasons.
For starters, the Premier Division MVP last season is “very excited” to come up against a Somerset team led by Scott Morton, who previously had a stint as coach of PHC.
“It’s definitely good to play against my old coach again,” Warren said. “It’s always a good battle of the minds.”
Then there is the famous rivalry between two of the island’s most decorated clubs, who have piled up a staggering 23 Friendship Trophy titles between them, which also gets Warren’s juices flowing.
“Of course there’s a lot of history behind that particular match-up,” he added. “I’ll be happy to be a part of that sort of particular heritage and I hope we get the better of them in that particular match.”
PHC did just that the last time the two sides met in the Premier Division in October, coming from behind to beat Somerset 3-1 on their own patch at PHC Field.
However, while his team is the favourite going into the mouth-watering cup tie at Bernard Park on December 27, Warren is not taking anything for granted against a Trojans team that raised eyebrows after lifting the Dudley Eve Trophy last month.
“Cup competitions are a different type of animal so you can’t take anything for granted,” he said. “No matter who you are playing you only get one chance.
“I think it’s going to be a very tactical battle and I think both teams are coming into the game in good form. Somerset are starting to pick it up from the start of the season and we are starting to gain some form of our own. It should be a really good game and I hope it’s a good crowd as well.”
Somerset coach Morton is also looking forward to the challenge of toppling one of the league’s most consistent teams.
“You have to beat the best to be the best,” he said. “So if PHC are considered one of the best, and if we want to be considered in the same light as them regarding this competition or just in football in general, then those are the opportunities that you have to embrace and look forward to.”
PHC have won the competition a record 12 times and Somerset eleven along with inaugural winners North Village.
The remaining semi-final will feature North Village against the winner of the final remaining quarter-final between holders Devonshire Cougars and Dandy Town, who square off in a repeat of last season’s final at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday at 9pm.
The Friendship Trophy semi-final draw took place at the Clyde Best Centre of Excellence on Thursday along with the draw for the First Division Shield semi-final.
Paget will face St David’s at Bernard Park on December 27 with the winner of the match between holders Wolves and Young Men’s Social Club on Saturday (Goose Gosling Field, 6.30pm) to face Ireland Rangers at Lord’s on December 26.
All Shield matches will precede the Friendship Trophy semi-finals.