IT best can be described as an exciting start combined with near perfect weather condition as the 9th edition of the Castries Football Council Youth League in collaboration with LUCELEC and Bank of Saint Lucia (BOSL) kicked off on Saturday 8th September 2018 in front of a crowd of close to 150 spectators at the SAB Sporting Facility.
Like previous years the players were addressed by various stakes holders.
Camry Joseph, LUCELEC representative expressed the importance of the youth league to LUCELEC and encouraged the young players present to always compete with the spirit of good sportsmanship and camaraderie.
Vincent Boland, who has managed a number of youth teams under the SLFA banner and Ersher Daniel, President of the CFC in addressing the gathering, reminded the teams of the need to continue working hard as they should all aspire to take advantage of the many opportunities afforded to them which football presently provides.
In the first encounter, in the Under -11category, Valley Soccer defeated Flow Lancers FC 3-0 with goals from Alex Deveaux, Daniel Zakhour and Urai Clovis.
In Under-15 action, Flow Lancers FC and FC Pioneers played to a 2-2 draw.
Jovan Cox put FC Pioneers ahead in the 33rd minute; Flow Lancers FC was quickly back in the thick of things when Daneo found the much deserved equalizer in the 37th minute. FC Pioneers nose ahead for the second time in the encounter when Ajani Hippolyte a national Under-14 player found the back of the nest.
With a lot left in the tank, Flow Lancers FC with share determination made it 2-2, a goal scored by Dante Fitz to ensure that his team collect a point for the effort.
VSADC Pinehill Under -15 team defeated Valley Soccer FC 3-0.
Messiah Pinel put VSADC ahead in the 16th minute when he struck home a rebound in the penalty area. Cagini Pilgrim, started his 2018 campaign on a high note with goals in the 41st and 70th minute.
On Sunday 9th, in Under -13 action, Flow Lancers FC trounced FC Pioneers 6-2.
For FLOW Lancers FC, the goals scorers were Vernroy Alfred (2), Nathan Alexander (2) and (1) for Ian Baptiste and Marcus Paul.
In game 2, VSADC Pinehill Under -13 Sharks and Valley Soccer FC played to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time. For VSFC Alex Deveaux (1) and VSADC Pinehill Sharks Terrell Mitchel (1) were the scorers.
The Youth League continues this weekend at the same venue. The Under- 11s and Under-15s matches will take place on Saturday 15th, while the Under- 13s and Under -17s will play on Sunday 16th.
Cassim Miller a member of the CFC organizing committee and head coach for FC Pioneers junior and senior teams spoke to the VOICE about the tournament format. “The tournament is always based on young players. In years gone by we used to start with the under-12 and under – 13 age group, this year we have gone down to under – 11 to make sure the Saint Lucia Football Association capture these players early so they can prepare them for the Under 13/14 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) tournament.
In terms of female players participating?
“FC Pioneers has four female in their squad; I did ask what was the restriction for them and was told there was no restriction, although we have a couple of females just 15 years old where they will qualify for the under-18s we allow them to play. The rules state you can play females within the boys as well; because a number of teams do not have a full female side they incorporate the females they have into the current male team”.
The tournament has been successful over the years; it’s the first round of competion, your take for this year?
“Over the years we try to move to another level by inviting outside teams, but we realise our players are not getting their benefits when you include all the other teams. We decided to keep it within the Castries basin; we have close to 300 young aspiring football players taking part in this tournament”.
Close to three hundred players participating, as one of the organizers, are you satisfied with the turn out in terms of support?
“Yes it is at the opening, with three games on, that’s fine. On day two, I don’t see many parents turning up for the under 18s anyway, but the interest is in under- 13s”.
“I really hope we have a good tournament; I think we have some good organizers and I anticipate a well-run tournament. On the square, I also expect to see an improvement in the quality of play and the skills exhibited from the players representing their various teams”.