He took a backseat to no one in winning the group phase with an amazing sassy ease as the Burma camp-based basic school romped to success over the likes of St Joseph’s, Cosmos, 37 Military and Base Ordinance School in an enthralling fashion.
In his young coaching career, Essel has earned a reputation for crafting a formidable squad at the prestigious tournament and has on two successive occasions been denied the title at the depth.
He is unquestionably carving a niche for himself as the chief architect of Garrison Basic School and one who knows the business of grinding out results.
Two times he’s come close, and two times his charges have fluffed their lines to lose important matches that have left a sour grip in his mouth after turning the Blues into a model program.
This season in the opinion of many experts, Essel once again underlined his credentials as his players displayed superlative performances that made them the huge favourite for the ultimate diadem and kill of the hoodoo that characterized their title ambitions last term.
They progressed to the semi-finals as the highest scoring team at the one-day tournament and there were many at the venue who believed their time to ink the title had come.
But in a David versus Goliath final meeting on Saturday, Teshie-based Kalvary played the role of David and shocked Garrison 20-19 in an epic contest at the El-wak stadium- making them to drop their first game at the tournament.
When asked if it was the toughest loss in his young coaching career, Essel answered:
“I can’t believe it because the next loss is the toughest and so this one is the deal my brother,” a disappointed Essel said
“We gave it all our best but unfortunately I believe luck was not on our side. My boys played well but I suspect they took the final game for granted and it cost us big time.
“The same thing happened to us when we lost against Air Force Basic school in the finals last year and I think something is terribly wrong somewhere,”
While he could be excited about taking side to the grand-finale on April 13, it’s going to take some time to get over the disappointment of falling to Kalvary Preparatory school who didn’t looked vintage on the day.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and re-strategize for the grand finale because these things can’t continue to happen to us,”
“When such defeats come you have no choice but to take it in good stead and take responsibility for it,”
He however stressed they lost to a determined team.
“They (Kalvary) played to instruction and worked for them. That for me is the hallmark of a good team and they deserved to win the game even though I had some few issues with officiating,” he added.