Malick Secondary's return to the top flight Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership Division is 50 per cent complete.
The school, known for its development of a number of players that represented the country at the highest level, on Friday claimed the top spot in the North Zone of the Championship Division with a convincing 4-0 victory over Blanchisseause Secondary on the road, thus securing a place in the Big Five playoffs to begin in few days time.
Acting principal and team manager Gerald Pascal-Manswell said he was elated the school had partly achieved its target this season after a number of key systematic changes prevented the school from being competitive enough to qualify and stay in the premiership division.
These changes include the shocking removal of its Sixth Form Class and an adjustment to the overall school system which prevents the school from recruiting young players from the Junior Secondary schools.
Pascal-Manswell explained this change has led to a reduction of its student population and thereby decreasing its potential talent pool of footballers.
Another set back for his school, according to Pascal-Manswell, was the loss of key stalwarts in the sport such as long-serving coach Ken Franco and others.
The school's achievement to date has been due to a two-year development plan, headed by Pascal-Manswell and new coach Anthony Bartholomew, who agreed to coach the team for free, all intent on returning the school to top-flight school's league.
"We are now beginning to see the fruits of this hard work. I am really hoping now for the team to do well in the play-off," Pascal-Manswell said. The top two teams from the Big Five will earn places in next year's premiership division.
Malick has been joined by central zone campaigners Chaguanas North Secondary, south zone winners Pleasantville Secondary and east champions Holy Cross College. In Tobago however, a winner is yet to be determined. Mason Hall High School topped the zone with 23 points after nine matches, but Speyside High has two games in hand.
An official from the sister-isle of Tobago told Guardian Media Sports the SSFL's Disciplinary Committee will tomorrow, adjudicate on an appeal on Signal Hill's use of uniform during Saturday's key clash with Speyside. The League is also to decide on whether Speyside will be granted full three points and as many goals for its unplayed clash with Pentecostal Light and Life recently, which did not play because the latter could not provide security.
Should Speyside win these two matters it will move to 23 points, same as Mason Hall, and will win the zone by having a better goal difference.
Meanwhile, in the central zone, Chaguanas will be making its second consecutive bid for promotion, after last season's attempt ended in failure, while in the east Holy Cross secured its passage through to the Big Five following the ruling of the SSFL's Credentials Committee to deduct all Arima North's points this season for its illegal use of Josiah Joseph, Leonardo Da Costa and his brother Leandro Da Costa.