NaMilCo Football Festival…GDF, Beacons final should be a crowd pleaser
– Conquerors bent on salvaging pride
By Rawle Welch
With the inclement weather expected to abate over the weekend, this Sunday’s NaMilCo Football Festival final that features the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and Beacons should be a crowd pleaser, while the playoff for third place between hosts Fruta Conquerors and Sunburst Camptown is suppose to provide no less excitement.
On Sunday the annual knockout tournament is expected to conclude at the Tucville ground with the first game set to start at 19:00 hrs, while the second begins from 21:00 hrs.
Sixteen teams affiliated to the Georgetown Football Association started the competition which carries a first prize money of $1million, runner-up$500,000, 3rd place-$200,000 and 4th place-$100,000 along with trophies.
In addition, individual prizes will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player, the Highest Goal Scorer, and the Most Disciplined Team.
In the opening encounter, Fruta Conquerors, whose fans must have been disappointed with their semi-final performance against the Army, who defeated them 1-0, will obviously be looking to grab the $200,000 third prize.
They have been bolstered by the return of star striker Pernell Schultz, who after a inspiring display in their quarter-final clash when he hammered in a hat-trick, failed to replicate that performance in their matchup against the soldiers.
They will need a special performance from him to get past the savvy veteran team of Sunburst Camptown.
Players the caliber of Marko Marcus, Eon Alleyne, Jermain Junior, Trevon Lythcott and goalkeeper Colin Edwards will have to string together solid performances if they are to thwart the ambitions of the Campbellville-based unit.
Camptown’s chase for victory will once again depend on the reliable Troy Prescod, who looked razor sharp in mid-field in their win against a tough Riddim Squad side, but he will have to rely on support from the likes of Orlando Gilgeous, Leon Muir, Jahal Greaves, Peter Parks, Jamal Codrington, Malcolm Williams and Ronel Gordon along with that of goalkeeper Stefan Corlette.
The Beacons versus GDF affair should be an explosive battle for the top prize and word is that both teams have been undergoing relentless preparations for the major assignment.
Beacons, who made it to the final by virtue of Alpha United sudden pull out from the Festival, will want to justify their presence on the big stage, while GDF has played at a consistent level throughout the competition and they too will be keen to validate their place in the final.
The silky skills of the nippy Delwin Fraser will once again be on display, while Desford Williams, Rodwell Sandy, Marlon Benjamin, Seon Brewley and Delroy Deane are all an integral part of the unit.
The Army has looked in good condition and their progress under the stewardship of former national goalkeeper turned Coach Denzil Thompson has been noted so underestimating them could prove perilous.
Beacons on the other hand have undoubtedly shown admirable improvement with the steady exposure, but the Army could prove to be a task too difficult to overcome.
However, players such as Paul Giles, Dellon Cadogan, Jerome Richardson, Rensford Coleridge and Philip Rowley, all possess the potential to beat any team on the day.
The clash sets up an interesting showdown that could come down to which team is more hungry. Fans should not miss this showpiece in this year’s Festival.