Sat, Jul

Players and staff of the Guapo Uprising Youths celebrate after defending their title in the Deportivo Point Fortin (PF) Community Football League (CFL) winning the final against La Brea All Stars, 3-0, at the Mahaica Sports Complex in 2023.

Guapo Uprising Youths team will be aiming to collect its third set of championship rings when it opens defence of its title in the Deportivo Point Fortin (PF) Association’s third Community Football League (CFL) which kicks off Friday (June 14) at the Mahaica Sports Complex.

The two-time champion will face Fanny Village United at 8 pm in the second match of a double-header. In the opening match, Cedros Pirates take on Egypt United at 6 pm.

The highly anticipated league was launched on Saturday (June 8) and will see 12 teams split into two groups battling for the top prize of $15,000. The second-placed finisher will receive $10,000 with third-place getting $8,000 and fourth-placed $4,000. The champion will once again take home championship rings donated by the Muhammed Isa Foundation.

Individual prizes including “Man of the Match” Most Valuable Player (MVP), Youth MVP, and the Neville “Coachie” Frederick award for “Coach of the Year” will be presented at the end of the season.

Also on Saturday, teams participated in the draw to decide the group they will compete in the preliminary round. The top four teams from CFL 2022 were seeded, forming Group A and Group B named after Point Fortin football legends, Leroy De Leon and Philbert Jones, respectively.

The 2022 CFL winner Guapo Uprising and the third-placed team New Village FC formed Group A while the second-placed (La Brea All Stars) and fourth-placed (Palo Seco Trippy FC) teams formed Group B.

Councillor for Mahaica/Newlands and one of Deportivo PF’s founding directors, Steve Guishard congratulated the La Brea and Cedros communities for their great efforts in maintaining their football grounds. He emphasized the continuing challenges regarding venue preparations and encouraged teams to advocate for the maintenance of the grounds in their communities, “to get their Councilors involved to assist with ground preparation”.

“Currently, three venues are confirmed to be used - La Brea, Mahaica, and Cedros with Vance River, Guapo and Palo Seco working diligently to have their grounds ready,” said Guishard.

The third edition of the league is being used as a means to help fight against crime.

“Due to the upsurge in crime, we decided to have the league now, “ said Guishard, adding that the organisers are in discussion with MP Kennedy Richards Jr to partner with Deportivo PF.

Boston Blake, Deportivo PF Member in charge of security for CFL, advised that everyone remember to be responsible and emphasized the need for unity and camaraderie, all for the betterment of youth; “embodying the spirit of Point Fortin. Point is love!”

The tournament structure will include quarterfinals with the top four teams from each group moving on, followed by the semifinals with the top two teams from each group moving on to the final, to see who will take home the championship trophy and rings.

Last year, Guapo Uprising defeated La Brea All Stars in the final, 3-0 to take top honours. In the process, the Guapo-based team defended its title won in 2019 after edging Mahaica FC, 2-1.

“CFL 2024 promises to be an exciting tournament, showcasing all the best in football that Point Fortin and environs have to offer,” said Guishard in his closing remarks.

Entrance on match days is $30 for adults, and $15 for children ages 6-12 while 60 and over, and children under five are free. There is also a group option for adults, four tickets for $100.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian