Portmore United’s Gardner: “Cruz Azul is a challenge we’ll embrace”

By Sports Desk December 11, 2019
Former Reggae Boy and Portmore United coach, Ricardo Gardner Former Reggae Boy and Portmore United coach, Ricardo Gardner

Portmore United’s first-ever Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) journey begins with a battle against Concacaf heavyweights, Cruz Azul.

The Mexican club is a six-time Concacaf club champion, while the Jamaican side is making their SCCL debut. Yet for Portmore United Head Coach Ricardo Gardner, the series with La Maquina will be a great testing ground for his players.

“It’s a very tough opponent at a very tough place to play football, but it is a challenge that we will embrace,” said Gardner in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.

“It is a challenge from which we will try to get a lot of experience, and it is a challenge for us to come and put our best foot forward.”

Not only does Gardner feel like Portmore United are representing the country of Jamaica, but also the entire Caribbean.

“It is a perfect stage for our players and for our region in the Caribbean to come and try to display our talent to the best of our ability and at the end of the day, who knows. Representing the Caribbean is a responsibility that we like to have and we always try to put those things in our goals from the beginning of the season. We want to play in the highest competition in our region and this is the highest competition in our region and our players can play on a different platform and showcase their talent,” said Gardner.

 

If there is anyone who knows about the difficulties of playing in Mexico, it is Gardner. The 41-year-old earned well over 100 caps with the Jamaican National team and played many an international match in Mexico.

Gardner is hopeful that his players will make the very most of this unique opportunity to show their talent to the rest of the region.

“Coming to Mexico and playing here is always a difficult encounter, whether it’s national team or club, but as we mentioned before, it’s a platform for us to put our best foot forward. At the end of the day, it’s football and if you want to reach the highest level, you have to play against the best and you have to compete against the best. I think our opponent is very good at what they are doing within Concacaf. They are showing a real level of professionalism within the region. It will be good to be up against them. We’ll for sure get some good experience form this,” concluded Gardner.

 

 

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