As far as the Secondary Schools Football League is concerned. Perhaps thankfully the 2017 League season is over or is it?
I can only ask that, based on comments attributed to certain coaches and staff of some of the teams (sorry schools), that are already looking ahead to the National Intercol tournament set to start shortly.
However, it is both perplexing and some may find it amusing, that many teams which may have been in the limelight for different reasons, are attempting to shrug off those queries and attempting to focus on the Intercol.
So can the Secondary Schools Football League under its current President William Wallace confess or reveal, if all matters under scrutiny are complete and that teams (sorry schools), participating in the Schools Intercol, have all their necessary documents in place and there will be no more deductions, suspensions or police investigations going forward?
If the answer is yes, then, I believe the country will be happy and look forward to the National Intercol series of matches that lie ahead of us.
However, if the answer to the question (that is long, I know), is No!! …. Then we need to examine whether the teams (sorry again, schools) in question should participate.
As it stands at the moment, President Wallace must be wondering what has gone wrong this season, given the number of off field matters that have drawn the attention of a nation, once believing that secondary schools football was pure.
I could be wrong (although I doubt that), but I believe this 2017 season, may have witnessed the largest number of claims/protests from various schools against one another. If one did not know better, it could have appeared to be an attempt to diminish the incumbents at the Secondary School League, and force them to resign and be replaced by another group of individuals gratefully waiting in the wings.
For the moment and unless there is drastic change, the results of the 2017 season will long remain under scrutiny and sadly perhaps some of those that may have played the game fairly, may also be brushed aside by this large paint brush.
It is quite noticeable, that when I visit several schools to talk on sports, the question at the centre of attention for these young students in both primary and secondary school, is about the problems and the errors that have been revealed in the Secondary Schools Football.
Further to that, at three schools recently in the …(west…no south, no east, no central.wherever), I was told by those in authority, some of whom have knowledge of the level of salaries being paid in the PRO league, or SUPER League to our coaches, that a Secondary School Football coach at certain schools can earn upwards of $10,000 TT for their efforts…in fact it appears some coaches double up as well with Pro League/Super League duties in combination with similar duties in the Secondary Schools league.
Herein may lie the problem, if the Secondary Schools League are brave enough to address it, in that players from Pro League / Super League outfits may be tempted to return to play for schools for a fee or just tempting to join a school, because a coach with connections and influence wants to win a title to add to his resume, and the school authorities because of bragging rights, may turn a blind eye, without checking the quality of all of the relevant information provided.
The situation is dire, and needs to be addressed and no school should be spared or given lenient treatment, despite whatever rich history they may in the sport or the league.
At the moment, some have suggested that it is one rule for some schools (the prestige schools) and another for the rest, if that is so, then this must be stop, and President Wallace has to be open on these points.
Whether anyone likes it or not, this years Secondary Schools Football season has been scared and with doubts still lingering over some of the teams and players, given the drastic transformation in form and results since all these revelations on i95.5fm I sports, it is left to be seen what happens next. Will the Sponsors also run away? Uhmmm.