By Sean Devers
Two months ago Betervewagting /Triumph United defeated Buxton United on penalty kicks to lift the East Demerara Football Association (EDFA) Under-17 trophy but yesterday at BV Community ground, Buxton United Under-13s went all the way with a 2-0 victory over Mahaica Determinators in the final match of EDFA Under-13 league to push the BV unit into second spot.
The match, played in scorching heat, began with BV at the top of the table on 17 points with a + 8 goal difference after their quota of matches were completed and only a victory by more than two goals by Buxton United, one of three teams from that Village competition, would be good enough to unseat BV United.
Although Buxton United enjoyed more ball possession, their strikers failed finish the job and by half-time, which was taken after 20 minutes, neither team had scored.
Buxton took the lead 10 minutes into the second stanza but they continued to throw away scoring opportunities and, with just a minute left in the contest, the BV team were already celebrating championship honors, only to watch in dismay as Buxton scored their second and deciding goal in the final minute to win the tournament, which commenced on Saturday August 16.
Both teams ended on 17 points but the Herbert McPherson Coached Buxton United prevailed due to a superior goal difference of +9 to BV United’s +8.
Coach McPherson said Buxton United played better team ball throughout the tournament which was played after the staging of a Under-13 Coaching Clinic in the association. McPherson, regarded by many as the leading Coach on the East Coast, however feels that the BV United combination was the best team in the tournament due to the fact that their talent was evenly distributed in all areas of their game.
He felt that the tournament was a good one, adding that he would like to see more of these grassroots programmes where the emphasis is more on the developmental aspects.
“If we are really serious about Guyana playing at the World Cup someday, then we need to focus more on the Under-13s and 15s, but if we don’t look after the nursery of our football we would never have a real chance among the top International teams and an investment in youth must be made urgently,” McPherson stressed.
EDFA’s Organising Secretary Joseph Wilson, who is also a Coach and Refereed many of the matches in this competition, shared McPherson’s view, adding that in order for football to develop, the emphasis must be placed on youth development.
“You can never go wrong with youth development programmes and other associations should look at doing this also. We are the only association with such a program for the year” Wilson stated.
He encouraged other associations including Berbice, Bartica and Linden to run off such programmes and pick the most talented players to play in an Inter Association tournament where a National Training Squad is selected and developed as a core bunch.
“Everyone wants to focus on senior leagues and money games because that is much easier and the rewards are much more than organizing football at this nursery level” Wilson concluded.
Wilson lamented that the competition began with nine teams but after playing their first game, Victoria Kings, which according to him showed plenty of ability, had to be eliminated since they had nobody to bring the players to matches.
After the final day, several prizes were handed out to the winners, runners-up, third placed team and outstanding individual performers.
Buxton United, led by MVP of the competition, Kebo Durant, collected the first place trophy which was donated by Coach Aaron Blackman who made the presentation.
BV United, like Buxton United failed to concede a single goal in the tournament and received the runners-up trophy while Buxton Stars took home the third place trophy. BV United’s Omari Glasgow took the award for most goals (6) while Custodian Tony Olge of BV United was adjudged the Best Goal Keeper on show.
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