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Fri, Sep

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Nikel Rawlins led with a hat-trick while Isaiah Lee, Decklan Marcelle and Ariel Tyson each had a goal for Naparima College of San Fernando in a 6-2 pre-season friendly win over visiting Guyana Under-15 footballers on Wednesday morning.

Naps, last season’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Big Four champions and league runners-up, are in preparation for the new SSFL season which kicks off in September.

The Guyana U-15s meanwhile, are visiting for a warm-up tour prior to joining T&T and 38 other nations in Florida, USA, for the 2017 CONCACAF U-15 Championship which runs August 13-19 at IMG’s world-renowned campus in Bradenton.

Naps were competitive, hence the score-line from coach Angus Eve’s charges, but the hospitality off the pitch was second to none, with the college providing transport and refreshments to the young Golden Jaguars in an atmosphere of camaraderie at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium training field.

“It was a good exercise for both teams,” said Eve, whose other success at Naps include the 2014 SSFL League and Bog Four titles, and 2015 SSFL League, Big Four and InterCol titles.

“But I thought the exercise was a better test for the Guyana boys as we (Naps) are in a physical training mode right now. We don’t have all our players with some of the boys out on vacation and so on. And basically we used senior players in the first half then our younger players in the second half.

“We were technically better while they were a little naive defensively. But their goalkeepers were tremendous and they had individual talents. We wish them all the best at the CONCACAF U-15 tournament.”

Naps’ assistant coach is former Guyana international defender and current national team assistant coach Charles Pollard. Pollard, who spent most of his playing career in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League, also serves Eve as assistant coach of TTPL outfit Club Sando.

The Guyana U-15s warm-up tour, according to Eve, was arranged by former general secretary of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) Richard Groden through his relationship with the Guyana Football Federation and T&T’s North Zone head, Anthony Harford.

Guyana U-15s played a North Zone combine on Monday, and head coach Bryan Joseph will lead his young Golden Jaguars against Fatima College on Friday, before jetting off to Florida on Saturday.