Former head coach of the SAP Football Club, Janiel Simon, has backed the Premier Division contenders to excel in the upcoming Football Association playoffs and remain in the topflight for the 2017/18 domestic season.
SAP, after finishing eighth in the 10-team competition, will play against All Saints United and the FC Aston Villa in a round-robin competition with the team finishing at the top of the standings after one round, earning a spot in the Premier Division.
Simon however believes SAP will have a hard time against what he believes are better prepared teams but could still get the job done.
“It’s definitely not going to be easy because both teams from the First Division are playing good football. They have been training and that’s my only issue with SAP in terms of how much they are being prepared for these two games. This is not the first time they have been in the playoff. They have that level of experience but experience doesn’t always count; but I think they still have enough manpower and experience to get over this hurdle,” he said.
United, finished third in the First Division standings with 43 points while Villa was fourth with 39 points.
If asked, Simon said he would be willing to render advice to his former club.
“The first game is very important because usually when you win your first game you are halfway there. I am more likely to work with the goalkeepers when I am free and I would definitely, if they call and want any advice. But for me to go out there and do anything then that’s a no. I just have to sit back and let them handle their business and hope they can pull it off,” he said.
In the Second Division vs. First Division playoffs, Urlings and St. John’s United finished second in Zones A & B respectively in the Second Division, and will take on Hill Top after they finished third from bottom in the First Division.
The playoffs are slated to start on Sunday at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG).