The East Bank Football Association (EBFA) for the second year ran off a successful Under-11 League/Knock-Out where over 100 young players including females were exposed to the game in a friendly but competitive setting.
The 2017 edition of the competition which ended on Sunday last with defending champions Agricola Red Triangle retaining the championship with a 2-1 win over Grove Hi Tech saw an increase of two new clubs participating.
Diamond Upsetters and Samatta Point/Kaneville both debutants took their more seasoned counterparts by surprise and advanced to the final four with Samatta Point/Kaneville taking the third place from Diamond Upsetters.
Craig School, which ended as the runners-up in 2016, was the only team that did not participate from the inaugural year. Each club this year played a total of seven (7) matches each with the top four (Agricola, Grove, Samatta Point/Kaneville, Diamond Upsetters) advancing to the semis where Agricola squeezed past Diamond Upsetters on kicks from the penalty mark (2-1) after a 1-1 regulation and extra time scoreline.
Grove Hi Tech had defeated Samatta Point/Kaneville by the lone goal of that match. The level of skills exhibited by all the teams was very encouraging with every club showcasing talented players that can go on to be assets at the junior national levels.
Mocha Champs showcased a talented female player in the form of Kerry Boyce who did not just participate but matched the boys play for play in her strong style of play which saw her scoring three (3) of the ten (10) goals her club scored in their seven (7) matches. Boyce is certainly a player to watch out for in the future and will be sure to feature in the Pele Alumni Under-15 League that is expected to kick off this weekend.
Some of the other players to watch out for includes the tournament’s top goal scorer Jamal Cordis (Grove), Solomon Austin (Herstelling Raiders), Jonathan Andries (Agricola), Seon Grant (Agricola), Daniel Bradford (Mocha), Dwayvon Cliffe (Grove), Jevon Pluck (Grove), Jamal Harvey (Mocha), Ronaldo Adams (Diamond United), Abdullah Amin (Diamond Upsetters), Shafeek Russell (Diamond Upsetters), Zundi Francois (Grove), Joshua Dias (Diamond Upsetters), Calvin Bowling (Agricola) and Anthony Hussain of Friendship All Stars.
There is still a lot of work to be done in ensuring that the young kids are exposed to the right teaching in terms of learning the fundamentals of the game so that as they mature, they would be good all-round players.
Coaches and parents must also ensure that these players not only remain in school but work towards excelling with their books as well which is of vital importance to their holistic development as individuals in their respective villages.
The President and Executive of the EBFA on behalf of the clubs, players, parents and fans would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to our Guyanese, USA based sponsor Ralph Green for his continued commitment towards the development of our young players.
This year saw each player, coaches as well as executives presented with branded jerseys, while matches were played with branded balls while the top five individual players received trophies and a back pack each. The 2018 tournament is expected to be bigger and better.
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