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Former Strike Squad player and Pro League Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Skeene urged school footballers to ensure they place emphasis on obtaining a good education, even as they look to become better players.

Skeene was at the time speaking at the award ceremony of the 2009 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) held at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva, on Friday. The Pro League boss in delivering the feature address, said the young footballers must balance football and academics or vocational education.

“The reality is that your prime football playing days will end in your thirties and then you will be faced with having to deal with Life, earning a living, taking care of your family etc."

Do not allow yourself to reach into a situation where you have to look for handouts at the end of the day, because you did not utilise the opportunity to educate yourself.

I have seen in the pro league and at national level where players experience difficulty with filling out an immigration form or with simply understanding a contract that they have signed,” said Skeene. He told the young footballers that they have opportunities to make a career in the sport that they love.

“But to do so you will not be able to rely on your talent and potential. Take it from someone who has been there and done that. Discipline, hard work and respect, truth be told are some of the key ingredients.

Those are the factors, incidentally that you will need to be successful in life and school.” he said. Skeene said the Secondary Schools Football League is a vital part of the football pyramid in T&T.

“If the quality of play and coaching at this level is not right or of the required standard, if fair play, integrity and ethics are not understood and appreciated. If respect for your team-mates, the referee and laws of the game-not only the letter, but the spirit is not nurtured, the elite end of the game which is national teams and the T&T Pro League will suffer and we will never qualify for another FIFA Senior World Cup,” the Pro League boss.

President of the SSFL Ewing Davis said the 2009 season was very successful, despite some challenges, and feels that it could be a stepping stone for a better season this year.

“It is my hope that the footballers take the experiences from last season and use them to make this season much better,” said Davis.

2009 Winners:

Form One Division (13 & Under) - Knockout:
North: East Mucurapo Secondary
South: Vessigny Secondary

League:
East: El Dorado East & El Dorado West
North: Fatima College
South: Vessigny Secondary

Giants Division Under-14 - Knockout:
Central: Presentation College (Chag.)
North: St Anthony’s College

League:
Central: Carapichaima East Secondary
East: Arima North Secondary
North: Fatima College
South: St Benedict’s College

Under 15 (Girls) Division - Knockout:
North: St Joseph’s Convent

League:
East: Arima North Secondary
North: St Joseph’s Convent
South: Fyzabad Ang. Secondary

Junior Division (Under 16) - Knockout:
Central: Carapichaima East Secondary
North: St Mary’s College

League:
Central: Carapichaima East Secondary
East: Arima North Secondary
North: St Anthony’s College
South: St Benedict’s College

Senior Division Under-19 Girls - Knockout:
Central: Miracle Ministry
North: St François Girls

League:
Central: Miracle Ministry
East: Arima North Secondary
North: St François Girls
South: Point Fortin West Secondary

Senior Division Under-19 Boys’ - Knockout:
Central: Tabaquite Secondary
North: Diego Martin North Secondary
South: Pleasantville Secondary

League:
Central: Tabaquite Secondary
East: Barataria South Secondary
North: Malick Secondary
South: Pleasantville Secondary

Championship Reserve Division Boys’ Under-19 - Knockout:
North: Queens Royal College

League:
North: Fatima College

National
Under-14: Fatima College
Under-16: St Benedict’s College
Under-19: Pleasantville Secondary
Girls’ Under-15: Fyzabad Ang. Secondary
Girls Under 19: St François Girls’

Girls Championship Division - League:
East: Toco Secondary
North: Providence Girls’
South: Debe Secondary
Zonal Boys Coca-Cola Inter-Col
Central: Carapichaima East Secondary
East: St Augustine Secondary
North: Queens Royal College
South: Presentation College (S’do.)
Tobago: Mason Hall Secondary

National Boys’ Coca-Cola Inter-Col
1. El Dorado East Secondary
2. Naparima College
3. St Augustine Secondary & St Mary’s College

Girls BGT&T Zonal Inter-Col:
North/East: Providence Girls’
South/Central: Debe Secondary
Tobago: Signal Hill Secondary

National Girls Champions:
BGT&T Cup: Debe High

Boys BGT&T League:
Central: Carapichaima East Secondary
East: St Augustine Secondary
North: St Mary’s College
South: Presentation College (S’do)
Tobago: Mason Hall Secondary

National BGT&T BIG Five:
1. St Augustine Secondary
2. Presentation College (S’do)
3. St Mary’s College & Carapichaima East Sec.