JC's Duncan McKenzie, Digicel’s Star Balla of the week, believes time management, discipline are the keys to success

By Sports Desk November 15, 2021

Proper time management and self-discipline might sound like clichés, but it is exactly what has propelled Jamaica College’s Digicel Manning Cup Captain Duncan McKenzie to nine CSEC Subjects – all grade 1s with eight straight A profiles.

The 17-year-old player, who as a precocious 15-year-old netted three goals and had eight assists as Jamaica College (JC) won their 30th Manning title in 2019, is now trusted with the task of leading the “Dark Blues” this season to defend their crown and to lead his school’s pursuit of a record 31 Manning Cup titles.

The pressure has never been an issue for McKenzie based on his ability to successfully balance school work and sports over the years even as he is expected to lead with distinction on the field as he did in the classroom.

While in third form, he aced his Human and Social Biology CSEC examinations with a Grade 1 and a straight-A profile and followed up with passes in English A, English B, Mathematics, Spanish, Physics, Information Technology, Principles of Business and Principles of Accounts.

“I believe the key to balancing school work and football is proper time management and self-discipline. From a very young age, this has been emphasized by both my parents and I have learnt to structure my time well,” said McKenzie.

“Yes, it is difficult to strike the balance but it can be achieved. My advice to the younger generation is to practice good habits from early so that they become routine”.

Young McKenzie who idolizes Lionel Messi and loves Barcelona, one day hopes to play football at the highest level.

“I aspire to play football professionally. However, I would still like to pursue a degree in Accounting or Business Management,” he explained.

JC drew their opening match against Calabar 0-0 on Saturday and is joint third in what is arguably the group of death that includes five former champions in early group leaders St George’s College and Charlie Smith High School.

However, McKenzie is confident his team will rise to the challenge.

“I believe that we have a talented and highly motivated squad that is capable of defending our title,” said McKenzie.

“Playing without spectators is a new and strange experience. I believe that it lessens the performances of all teams in the competition.

“We are all aware of how important it is to have fan support at matches. They spur teams on and provide additional motivation for players to perform well. I hope that in the near future, we will be able to bring back fans safely to the games.”

JC has again been tagged as favourites but McKenzie is not taking any team lightly.

“As a result of the pandemic, there are a lot of unknowns. Consequently, I regard all teams in the competition as challengers for the title,” he said.

 

Related items

  • 'The best in the world' - Ja Reggae Boy goalkeeper Blake wanted clean sheet but honoured to play Messi, Argentina 'The best in the world' - Ja Reggae Boy goalkeeper Blake wanted clean sheet but honoured to play Messi, Argentina

    Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake admits to enjoying the encounter against top team Argentina and football great Lionel Messi, despite coming away on the other side of a 3-0 defeat.

    After starting the game on the bench, Messi's introduction blew things wide open for La Albiceleste who had already taken a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s 13th-minute strike.

    With only 10-minutes to go the Jamaicans seemed set to end their third straight encounter against the South Americans within a one-goal margin, but Messi had other ideas.

    Blake initially foiled Messi twice but could not do much against the Paris Saint Germain midfielder’s blast from the top of the area in the 86th minute or his crafty free-kick three minutes later.

    It’s a world-class team that’s the easiest way to put it.  It’s a different ballgame. The quality of play and the speed of play, everything is a different level. But I enjoyed every moment of it, and it was a great experience,” Blake told the Philadelphia Enquirer.

    “He’s the best in the world,” Blake said in his assessment of Messi.

    “I wish I was able to make those saves, but world-class players do world-class things. … it was definitely an honour and a moment I’ll cherish forever — not the moment that he scored, but being able to play against him and save a few of his shots.”

  • Mona High stays perfect in Manning Cup with 3-1 win over Wolmer's Boys Mona High stays perfect in Manning Cup with 3-1 win over Wolmer's Boys

    Mona High maintained their perfect start to the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup with a 3-1 victory over Wolmer’s Boys at Stadium East on Wednesday.

    Mona, after beating the previously undefeated Wolmer’s, now have 15 points from five games and boast an impressive goal difference of 28 having scored 33 goals and conceded just five.

    Earlier at Stadium East on Wednesday, Camperdown and Hydel played out a 1-1 draw. Hydel and Camperdown now sit third and fourth in Group E with seven and five points, respectively.

    The other Group E fixture saw Kingston High beat Papine 2-1 at home for their first win in five tries.

    Jamaica College moved to the top of Group B on goal difference with a 4-0 win over St. Jago at Jamaica College. The 30-time champions now have 10 points, the same amount as St. Catherine High who got a 6-0 win at Cedar Grove. JC has a goal difference of 19 while St. Catherine has a goal difference of 10.

    Holy Trinity beat St. Mary’s College 5-1 at Bell Chung Oval in the other Group B encounter.

    STATHS are now in a dominant position in Group D after a 6-0 win over Tarrant moved them up to 13 points from five games, six more than second placed Jonathan Grant, who secured a 2-1 win over Norman Manley at Maxfield Park. Dunoon got a 2-1 win over Spanish Town at Excelsior in the other Group D fixture.

     

     

  • Heskey backs under-fire England boss Southgate ahead of World Cup Heskey backs under-fire England boss Southgate ahead of World Cup

    Emile Heskey believes Gareth Southgate should be given the chance to turn England's fortunes around after relegation from League A in the Nations League.

    The Three Lions' manager has come in for criticism after his team finished bottom of Group 3, failing to win any of their six outings against Italy, Hungary and Germany (D3 L3).

    With the World Cup in Qatar kicking off in less than two months, the pressure is on Southgate to deliver, though he did guide England to the semi-finals in Russia in 2018 before reaching the final of the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament last year.

    Heskey – who made 62 appearances for England – thinks Southgate and his players can turn it around and can take positives from their 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley on Monday.

    Speaking to Stats Perform, the former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker said: "I think the draw against Germany did redeem [England] in some cases.

    "I thought the fight they showed was fantastic to get it back to 3-2 because they could easily have given up at 2-0 [down]. But they fought back to make it 3-2 and then 3-3, obviously.

    "Football has always fascinated me [because] we put no pressure on them, and [then] they get to a semi-final and a final, then we suddenly heap a load of pressure on them and you can see what's happening."

    Prior to the six-goal thriller with Germany, England had failed to score with any of their previous 62 non-penalty shots, a run of seven hours and 30 minutes without a non-penalty goal.

    Southgate's men are also winless in their last six games in all competitions, their longest run since April to June 1993 (also six). It is their longest ever winless run going into a major tournament.

    "When you're not doing well, they're going to justify criticism, and you've got to accept that criticism. It's how you bounce back from that," Heskey added.

    "None of these have turned into bad players overnight, and the manager isn't a bad manager overnight. I think you've got to give him the opportunity to turn it around and turn the fortune of the players around as well."

    One of the concerns widely discussed has been whether Southgate knows his best team before they take on Iran, the United States and Wales in Group B at the World Cup, but Heskey pointed out selection headaches mean the manager has a number of credible options available to him.

    "You could put it either way," he said. "It could be alarming, or it could be a good thing that we don't know the best 11 because players are coming in.

    "You've even got Ivan Toney coming into the [last] squad... [Mason] Mount's played a lot of games and then come back in and scored.

    "So it's always good to keep the manager on his toes. But you really should know who your starting 11 is coming up to a major tournament."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.