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  Photo: Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) 2016 MVPs Ke’die Johnson (left) and Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel pose with their silverware at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain on 18 January 2017. Johnson is a St Augustine Secondary attacker while Emmanuel plays midfield for Shiva Boys Hindu College. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
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Teamwork is the key element for success according to the 2016 Secondary School Football League’s (SSFL) Players of the Year.

Kedie Johnson and Tyrel Emmanuel were named SSFL female and male Players of the Year respectively on Wednesday and they both recognised the hard work of their teammates as contributing factors to their success. Both stated that their individual awards simply rounded off a fantastic season.

Newsday spoke to Johnson at the SSFL awards ceremony which took place at the National Cycling Centre in Couva.

“This year brought many achievements and titles for St Augustine Secondary, even though we faced many battles throughout the season, nothing stopped us from keeping focused and uniting as a great team,” the 18-year-old Johnson humbly expressed.

She went on to describe her emotions on being the best female player in the SSFL.

“Words cannot begin to explain how grateful I am because I could not have been named ‘best player’ if they (St. Augustine Secondary teammates) were not surrounding me, so basically I didn’t win this award, they won it for me because they are the best players,” she declared. Johnson was also St Augustine Secondary’s vice-captain as she scored approximately 25 goals for the National Girls Inter-Col Champions during the 2016 season and assisted numerous goals in the process.

Tyrel Emmanuel of Shiva Boys Hindu College also paid tribute to his teammates as he stated, “I’m very pleased to win the Player of the Year award but I would not have been able to win this award without the support of the team, the fans and our school community.

“I would like to say that my success came from the players because we really wanted to win the league trophy this season and we are thankful for the outcome of us winning the league.” He also noted that to win the league, everyone on the team pulled their weight and the investment of hard work during the pre-season along with consistency was the key to rallying out the season and ending at the top of the table.

Emmanuel scored three goals during the 2016 season and was the heart of the Shiva Boys midfield as the 18-yearold maestro created endless chances and assisted several goals in their successful SSFL Premier Division title campaign.

Johnson and Emmanuel already set their next set of goals they desire to meet, in the not so distant future, as they have to keep their mental focus and emerge successors in their upcoming examinations.

They detailed the importance for them to keep on developing as players and furthermore, as citizens of the nation, it is important to develop their mental and academic side to enhance the possibility of future options, offers and marketability.

As both players are set to leave after this academic school year, they left inspiring messages for their teams as they have faith in their respective squads to recapture the titles.

2016 SSFL All-Star Teams Female:

Goalkeepers - Kaydeen Jack (Diego Martin Central), Chelsea Ramnath (Fyzabad Sec), Danisha Britto (St. Augustine Sec).

Defenders - Abigail La Rode (St. Augustine Sec), Kerice King (Tranquillity Sec), Jaasiel Forde (Bishop’s Anstey East), Tamara Johnson, Collette Morgan (Fyzabad Sec).

Midfielders - Malak Marcelle (Diego Martin Central), Denecia Prince (Fyzabad Sec), Shaunalee Govia (Tranquillity Sec), Ranea Warde (Bishop’s Anstey East), Shenieka Paul (Pleasentville Sec), Aaliyah Lynch (St. Augustine Sec).

Strikers - Asha James (Signal Hill Secondary), Celene Lorraine (Mason Hall Sec), Reanique Primus, Chantal Murrell (Bishop’s Anstey East), Adanya Phillip, Ke’die Johnson (St. Augustine Sec).

2016 SSFL All-Star Teams Male:

Goalkeepers - Desean Bowen (Trinity College Moka), Rahim Lee (Pleasentville Sec), Denzil Smith (Shiva Boys).

Defenders - Yohannes Richardson (Shiva Boys), Mylz Barrington (Pres. San’do), Derron John (St. Anthony’s College), Mickel Ravello (St. Benedict’s College), Kyle Thomas (San Juan North Sec), Zion Holder (St. Augustine Sec).

Midfielders - Jordan Riley (Pres. San’do), Akil Frank (Signal Hill Sec), Justin Sadoo (Naparima College), Quinn Rodney, Judah Garcia, Tyrel Emmanuel (Shiva Boys).

Strikers - Isaiah Lee (Naparima College), Haile Beckles (St. Anthony’s College), Junior Asson (Shiva Boys), Ronaldo Boyce (San Juan North Sec), Nion Lamy (Pres. San’do).