The annual GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships bullys-off at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) this Sunday as the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) and the telephone company continue their 18-year partnership for the premier local indoor competition which determines the annual national champions.
The competition has expanded this year to include a women’s Second Division competition for the first time in its history which reflects the growth of the female playing population which now matches that of the males. Apart from the clubs contesting the competition, a national male junior squad will compete in the men’s First Division competition as ‘Supernova’ but that team will not be eligible for the trophies.
The competition features five divisions; the Men’s and Women’s First and Second Divisions, and the Veteran’s Over-35-years.
Bounty GCC will face their toughest competition in recent years as a strengthening Old Fort Lamborghinis, boosted by two of the top junior players in the skilful Omar Hopkinson and prolific goal-scorer Warren Williams. In addition, three-time champions, PEPSI Hikers, will be at full strength with the likes of their fantastic four, Robert France, Andrew Stewart, Jamarj Assanah and Aroydy Branford.
Old Fort Top Form are holders of the men’s Second Division trophy and will be up against a powerful GCC Pitbulls side with several junior national players including Captain Kareem McKenzie and Meshach Sargeant. The Hikers Cadets and Hikers Young Guns, Saints Hockey Club (SHC) Silencers and SHC Sensations along with Old Fort Rogue and Phoenix will make up a very busy division.
The GCC Tigers have dominated this competition for the past eleven years and enters as the favourites to take the gold in the women’s first division. Leading all-time ladies goal scorer Sonia Jardine will be on show along with nationals Gabriella Xavier, Aliyah Gordon, Trisha Woodroffe and Marzana Fiedtkou in a star-studded line-up. Tigers’ arch-rivals, Woodpecker Hikers, will be gunning for the top spot with the likes of nationals Marisha Fernandes, Nicole Eastman and Latacia Chung.
Old Fort Team 2.1.2. has been improving steadily and many of their players would be fresh off the recent victory in the Noble House junior indoor championships. Minsodia Culpepper and Bushani Kaladeen will lead their effort.
Saints and the Bingo Spartans feature the youngest sides in the division and will surely use their superior conditioning and quickness to create havoc among their senior rivals.
The newly introduced Women’s Second Division competition will find GCC Spice as a favourite among their junior opponents of Old Fort Goal Chasers, Bingo Spartans and Woodpecker Hikers. This division will feature many of the outstanding junior players recently on show in the Noble House junior championships.
GCC Vintage are the double defending champions in the Over-35 Division which once again see challenges from the Old Fort Mustangs and Antonio’s Hikers.
The competition will last one week.
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