MIAMI, Florida - Waterhouse Football Club Captain Shawn Lawes says his team is preparing to “go all the way” in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League (SCL).
Last year, the Jamaican club was eliminated 2-0 at the quarter-final stage by Honduras’ Motagua F.C.
The memory of that defeat is still fresh in Lawes’ mind.
“We are preparing to go all the way this time as we fell short last year to Motagua F.C.,” said the powerfully-built Jamaican defender.
Lawes, 27, said the ultimate goal of Waterhouse is to qualify for the Confederation’s premier tournament, the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
“Yes, it is our dream to go to the Champions League and we wanted to do that last year, but we fell short by a point.
“So we are looking to correct our mistakes as a group, and even as individuals, as we keep working hard to get there this time,” said Lawes.
The Kingston native, who has represented numerous top Jamaican clubs over the years, admits that participating in the SCL in 2019 was an eye-opener for himself and his teammates.
“Playing in the competition last year was a great experience, especially for the younger players as they got a taste of international club football.
“It also helped the players to think big in terms of being more professional, to train harder and to just change the whole mindset as a local player,” said Lawes.
Waterhouse F.C. was drawn into the Round of 16 of the SCL and awaits the winner of the Preliminary Round October 20 showdown between Haiti’s Arcahaie F.C. and Verdes F.C. of Belize.
The Jamaican club will face the winner of the Preliminary Round match-up in Kingston on November 3.
“The team is definitely looking forward to this tournament and we are happy to be playing at the highest level in our region. We are not here just to participate, but to compete,” said Lawes.
He argues that competing in the SCL provides a wide range of opportunities for players.
“Playing in this type of competition is definitely a plus, first to be seen by other clubs and scouts. It does build your player profile, so playing in this competition has already given the players a much better network to go to bigger leagues.
“It’s not just my team, but every local Jamaican player must have dreams to play in bigger leagues, and this (SCL) is one of the biggest platforms in our region to parade our skills,” said Lawes.
He said his team will be ready for any opponent that stands in front of his “fired up” bunch.
“It’s always good to know about the opponents to see their strengths and weaknesses, so we can plan accordingly. We are here to go all the way and so we are not focused on a specific team,” said Lawes.
He said preparing for the SCL and the Jamaican Premier League in a COVID-19 world brought new thinking and experiences.
“It has been challenging, but we have a great staff at Waterhouse F.C., and we trust that whatever we do is for the betterment of the players and for the community.
“As players, we are more excited to just be together as a group and family again more than anything else in terms of preparation, as we have our team doing Zoom sessions and field sessions where we follow all the necessary COVID-19 protocols. It’s challenging, but as I stated, we have a great staff, so we will get where we want to go eventually,” concluded Lawes.