Scott Morton, the PHC Zebras head coach, says he is encouraged by his team’s flying start to the season.
The Zebras won the Charity Cup for the sixth time with victory over Premier Division champions Robin Hood in the traditional season-opener. They are through to the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-finals after beating Devonshire Cougars 2-0 in their opening group B match, having losing to them in the final last season.
“I am definitely encouraged with our early-season form,” said Morton, who won the FA Cup in his first season with the Zebras last term. “We have improved and obviously we don’t want to be the same as we were last year. We always make sure that we are improve and a few of the adjustments that I have tried to implement are coming to fruition, slowly but surely.
“All credit to the club and to the players for what they bring. They are just totally focused, have a bunch of humility and are always fighting for the club. That’s all we can ask for.”
Morton handed over the reins of the team to Robert Bean, the assistant coach, for the Charity Cup because he had to tend to family matters overseas.
“Robert brought the team through when I was off island for the Charity Cup, so I don’t put the Charity Cup down on my résumé,” Morton said. “That should be on his résumé.”
The Zebras face Boulevard Blazers at Police Field on Sunday in their final Dudley Eve Trophy group B match, which will determine the group winners along with the remaining semi-final spot available. North Village, Hood and PHC have already qualified.
PHC need only a draw to win the group, while a point is all Boulevard require to pip Cougars for the remaining semi-final berth.
Cougars need the Zebras to beat Boulevard by three goals to make the last four on goal difference.
Although PHC will go into Sunday’s clash as the favourites, Morton is not taking the Blazers lightly.
“We definitely won’t be taking anything for granted against Boulevard, who are always a tough team for anybody,” Morton said. “They have a lot of talented players that play with a lot of heart.
“A lot of clubs can really learn from the strength that Boulevard has. I always try to feed off of that and try to use that to help my players’ strengths. So I never take them for granted.”
The Zebras will again be without experienced defender Na’eem Griffith, who is off island, and midfielder Cory Booth, who has returned to studies abroad.
Village play Hood in the remaining group A match on Sunday to decide the group winners.
PHC face Boulevard at 3pm on Sunday, while Hood against Village kicks off at 5pm.
•UPDATE: this article has been amended to correct the surname of Robert Bean