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Former national striker Stern John and several of his colleagues brought a touch of excitement and inspiration when the bpTT Mayaro Football League launched its 2013 season with an exhibition double-header at the Mayaro Recreation Ground on Sunday.

John was a member of the year-old D-14 FC, a team comprising several former national stars, which hammered a youthful Mayaro All Stars X1 5-0 in the feature match.

“Coming to Mayaro presents a fantastic opportunity for the young footballers in the community to match their skills against players who have competed at the highest level.

We are happy to be able to offer some inspiration to these youngsters. We are in existence for about a year now, and we go to different communities and schools and assist them to develop their skills,” explained John, who holds the goal-scoring record for Trinidad and Tobago.

Other past national players who featured in the match were Gary Glasgow, Ancil Elcock, and Peter Alfred. Scorers were Glasgow, Brian Yorke, Mark James, Alfred, with an own goal by the Mayaro All Stars team.

The first match, which ended goalless, featured the Under-1`7 teams of Mayguaya United and Mandingo Simple.

Earlier, Biche FC won the March Past competition, with Mayguaya United placing second and Caution FC, third.

Run by Illusion International Sports Club, the Mayaro Football League is sponsored by energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago whose home community is Mayaro.

Illusion’s public relations officer, Roderick Alexander, acknowledged that the presence of the former T&T footballers would be a great motivating factor for the youths of Mayaro. “Just to have these players in Mayaro in the flesh is a fillip for our aspiring footballers. We are sure it will spur them on to reach the highest levels of the sport,” he noted.

Joel Primus, community sustainability and stakeholder relations adviser, bpTT, said the league helped to build community spirit and camaraderie. He gave the assurance that bpTT would continue its support of the league in the future. 

Encouraging the young players to “play hard but fair’ was Raymond Cozier, councilloer for Mayaro/Guayaguayare.

The league competition, which officially starts on Saturday (July 20), will be played in three divisions, Under-15, Under-17 and Senior.