Alpha and Slingerz clash to decide SEL overall champs
By Franklin Wilson
The two best club sides in Guyana will collide once again in what is being dubbed the final of all finals.
In the inaugural season of the Stag Elite League, Slingerz FC drew first blood when
they won the GENESIS phase, while Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United clawed back to win the FINALE which has set up a mouth watering final clash to decide the overall winner, based on the league’s rules.
It has been well documented that Slingerz dominated both phases of the league but must now pull out all the stops if they are to deny Alpha United from taking their 7th league championship in Guyana, Slingerz have dominated their rivals in many a knock-out tournaments in the past 24 months.
Does the West Demerara based unit have what it takes to deny Guyana’s most successful club at the CFU and CONCACAF levels? That score would be settled tomorrow at the GDF ground from 21:00hrs when the match commences. A supporting game between Den Amstel and Western Tigers will start at 18:00hrs.
Yesterday at the Guyana Football Federation, the respective team coaches, sponsor and federation sought to update the media and by extension the public on plans for what is anticipated to be a humdinger of a match.
Leading off, Slingerz Assistant Coach Kavin Pearce said that they have been working hard since the loss to Alpha 0-3 on penalty kicks in the FINALE final to get their focus back on track for tomorrow’s match.
“We at Slingerz have been working hard to get back in preparation for this final game that come Sunday we will finish it off and prove to the nation that Slingerz Club is the top club in Guyana.”
Pearce’s Captain Tichard Joseph in his comments said that the loss was a hard pill to swallow but they have remained focused and are trying to pick themselves up again ahead of tomorrow’s showdown.
“We still have a next chance winning the league, so we will come out and continue to work hard and hopefully Sunday to come out on top.”
Head Coach of Alpha United Wayne Dover noted that his club has continued preparations after last Sunday’s match ahead of the champion of champions final. He said that they have done their homework and have been striving to improve their performance in the area of scoring among others.
“We will continue to demonstrate why we are the better team in this nation and make this grand finale a remarkable final for us making it six in a row in terms of national championships and that is our aim and objective going into this game.”
Dover said that they have taken the SEL step by step, noting that Slingerz would have dominated from the start of the league in the group phases.
“I spoke to my players and said, listen, this is not about the fans, we are playing this for us, because we have limited amount of fans.”
The long serving Coach elaborated that their aim was to be one of the four teams in the semi finals, win that then focus on the final and they achieved that in both halves of the SEL.
“Unfortunately in the first half we were not successful; fortunately for us in the second half we were successful.”
Dover complimented the SEL for providing matches for the players whilst calling for a review of the format given the fact that Slingerz dominated by ending with the most points but an outside chance was given to another club to sneak in and become champions.
Ansa McAl’s Trade Marketing Manager Ms Darshanie Yussuf indicated that her company would have loved to see a straight league with the team accumulating the most points emerging as the winner, but that is not so, so they are now faced with the champion of champions final.
“For us the first half of the league was fantastic, it really was because we saw the results from the players, we saw the effect that it had on community based football, the appeal it had for fans so it was fantastic. In the finale stages we had some blunders, you all would know about these blunders but hope fully we’ll be able to overcome them with better strategies.”
Yussuf expressed thanks to the fans and players for their support whilst committing her company to a continued partnership with building league football in Guyana.
“Stage Elite League will ensure that league football continues to be something that is developed in this country that all of our players have a chance to prosper.”
GFF Executive Committee Member Mr Dion Lovell expressed thanks to all stakeholders including Ansa McAl under their Stag brand, the Government of Guyana, Courts Guyana, E-Networks and the fans for their contributions towards the league’s success.
“This is an opportune time for me to encourage other entities come o board to support football because we really cannot do it alone. Of course the subvention that we receive is really not enough for us to do this alone, we urge other corporate entities to come on board to ensure not only the elite league is a reality but also our junior leagues.”
Commenting on the issue of the format of the league which is being debated hotly, Inniss, a former goalkeeper, said that there would be a review of this inaugural league and what is best for all including the clubs would be implemented for the next SEL.
“We eagerly anticipate a very competitive match because arguably, these two clubs have really been the shining light of football for Guyana over the recent past. We can easily anticipate a very, very competitive match and once and for all settle the score.”
There will be no cash incentive attached to tomorrow’s match, a trophy is at stake.
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