Kingston, Jamaica - Portmore United FC administrator Rohn Rainford says qualification to the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League would launch the club to new horizons.
The Jamaican Premier League champion is set to take another step in the direction of its first qualification to Concacaf's marquee club competition when it takes on Club Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic in semi-final one of the FLOW Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship.
The game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. start at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Kingston on Friday.
In the other semi-final, Jamaica's Arnett Gardens tackles former champion Central FC of Trinidad and Tobago in the feature of the double-header. Kick off is set for 9:00 p.m.
Victors from both semi-finals will face each other on Sunday for the title, while the losers will dispute third-place honors. Only the tournament winner will qualify for the 2019 Champions League.
Second- and third-place finishers will earn spots in the confederation second-tier club tournament, the Concacaf League.
The fourth-place team, meantime, will engage the Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield champion Club Franciscain of Martinique for the final Caribbean spot in the Concacaf League.
"It (qualifying for Champions League) would mean a lot to the organization to qualify for the region's premier club competition. It will present a bigger platform for the players to showcase their talents," said Rainford, the Portmore United official.
Competing in Concacaf's high profile competitions, Rainford posits, holds far-reaching benefits for his club, which is seeking historic qualification to the Champions League.
"These matches help our players in many ways. It helps them to become better professionals and gives them the requisite practice off the field as well as on it for them to continue to develop their craft," he noted.
Looking to the decisive encounter against Club Atletico Pantoja, Rainford is "expecting a high-quality game".
"...Both teams possess the pedigree to produce eye-catching football on any given day, (but) the players will have to execute the game plan to the very finest detail to ensure a positive result. With preparations in high gear, the match may see endless action," he expressed.
Rainford believes Portmore United possess the all-round quality to go all the way and win its second regional title, having done so back in 2005.
"This team is a very balanced one. The players work very hard in training to understand what the coaches ask of them individually as well as collectively. We possess quality in almost all the requisite areas in the pitch.
"However, I believe that with a little more application, we can develop an unstoppable group once players improve their concentration levels," Rainford ended.
Coached by former Reggae Boy Shavar Thomas, Portmore will pin its hopes for victory on goalkeeper Kemar Foster, strikers Jovan East and Jermie Lynch, midfielders Ewan Grandison, Ricardo Morris and Maalique Foster.
Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic is the defending Caribbean champion.