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Kevin Molino and Mariah Shade, the respective boys’ and girls’ Most Valuable Players (MVPs) of the 2008 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), have both expressed their delight, upon claiming their accolades, at the award ceremony at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva on January 30.
The 18-year-old Molino, who was a member of the Trinidad and Tobago team at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea, captained Mucurapo to the prestigious RBTT Intercol title and netted nine goals for the school, as they copped the SSFL North Zone and North Intercol crowns.

The soft-spoken and slimly-built Molino was joined among the boys’ Top Five Footballers by his teammates, goalkeeper Michael Duff and defender Joevin Jones, as well as national youth team players, Fatima’s Sheldon Bateau (defender) and Naparima’s Shahdon Winchester (striker). “It’s a very good feeling,” said Molino, after the presentation ceremony. “It’s the first time that I’ve ever won (it) and it’s three years I’m playing schools football.

“So it’s a very good (feeling) to win this trophy and I’m very glad for this,” he added.

Molino admitted that his stint with the national team served to improve his game as far as his immediate aspirations are concerned. “My goal here is to (make the TT team) for the Under-20 World Cup (qualifiers). From there, I’ll (look) for greater things,” he said.

The 17-year-old Shade, who captained the national Under-17 team during the 2008 CONCACAF qualifiers for the inaugural FIFA World Cup in New Zealand, led Debe High to three titles — the national and South/Central Intercol trophies, and the South Zonal league competition.

Shade, her schoolmate Stephanie Bean (defender), St Joseph Convent’s Tiana Bateau (defender), St Augustine’s Jennel Kisson (midfielder) and Malick’s Cassey McKenzie (striker) completed the Top Five Players amongst the girls.

When asked about how she felt upon being named as the girls’ SSFL MVP, Shade responded, “it’s something good for me, something which will boost my confidence.”

Debe High was easily the most dominant school in the girls’ SSFL, and Shade stated, “It’s something positive for us. “Nobody really knew about Debe and all of a sudden, (we’re known throughout) the whole country and it’s something good for us,” she added. Concerning her aims for 2009, Shade said, “Firstly, I want to do well at CXC and then go out for a scholarship, hopefully.”