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18
Tue, Jun

Valencia tangles with San Juan.
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110 schools kicks off SS­FL 2018

New­ly pro­mot­ed Va­len­cia Sec­ondary and peren­ni­al ti­tle-con­tenders San Juan North Sec­ondary will kick off the 2018 sea­son of the 15-team Shell/First Cit­i­zens Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) in the open­ing match of a dou­ble-head­er at the Mar­vin Lee Sta­di­um, Ma­coya from 3.30pm to­day.

This will be fol­lowed by a clash be­tween Trin­i­ty Col­lege East and St Bene­dict's Col­lege at the same venue from 5.30pm be­fore the ten of the oth­er 11 teams kick off their cam­paign on Sat­ur­day, Au­gust 15, in­clud­ing de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege of San Fer­nan­do.

Mak­ing the an­nounce­ment on the start of the new sea­son was SS­FL Pres­i­dent, William Wal­lace at the launch of the new sea­son which was held at Fa­ti­ma Col­lege Au­di­to­ri­um, Mu­cu­rapo Road, yes­ter­day.

Dur­ing his ad­dress, Wal­lace, a for­mer na­tion­al se­nior foot­ball team man­ag­er said that it was wise to re­flect on the league past 50 years of sur­vival through the ded­i­ca­tion and stead­fast com­mit­ment of its mem­bers as well as cor­po­rate T&T.

Look­ing ahead, Wal­lace not­ed that while he was de­light­ed to see the con­tin­u­ous sup­port of its ma­jor spon­sors in Shell Lim­it­ed First Cit­i­zens, Dig­i­cel, Sports­max, and Co­ca-Co­la, he was hap­py to note that with­in the next cou­ple of days, he will be an­nounc­ing part­ner­ships with not one or two new spon­sors, but three.

He added, 'These ma­jor com­pa­nies com­ing on board will pro­vide sup­port to the Un­der-14 and Un­der-16 boys, Un­der-15 girls and the Se­nior Girls Di­vi­sions from 2018 and be­yond.

'In ad­di­tion, the Form One will al­so be spon­sored from 2018 and be­yond.

With re­gards to the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion, Wal­lace not­ed that the SS­FL was ready to set up its own Schol­ar­ship Pro­gramme for its play­ers.

'We are go­ing to be tak­ing an ac­tive role in our stu­dents who are in­ter­est­ed in schol­ar­ships and we have in place a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) be­tween the SS­FL and Glob­al Pre­mier Soc­cer (GPS) which will help us with this.

Neil Hol­loway, gen­er­al man­ag­er in ex­plain­ing the aim of GPS, which has formed part­ner­ships with top Eu­ro­pean clubs FC Bay­ern Mu­nich and Va­len­cia CF stat­ed that the mis­sion of GPS is to be a leader in the de­vel­op­ment and growth of soc­cer across North Amer­i­ca and be­yond.

Hol­loway added, 'We will es­tab­lish an iden­ti­ty of ex­cel­lence as we pur­sue our path­way to suc­cess on and off the field, with our pri­ma­ry fo­cus be­ing the de­vel­op­ment of play­ers and peo­ple. We will de­vel­op play­ers who can com­pete at the high­est lev­el of soc­cer around the world."

Joe Bradley, own­er of GPS which is now in its 17th year of ex­is­tence made it clear that his com­pa­ny was in the spir­it of col­lab­o­ra­tions in the way of a re­source and sup­port struc­ture as they want to en­hance the brand of the SS­FL and its oth­er spon­sors.

And help­ing these play­ers to be scout­ed and seen by the 25 coun­tries across the Caribbean over the next three months of SS­FL ac­tion will be Sport­max and in the USA and Cana­da, CEEN TV.

Tanya Lee, Pres­i­dent of Mar­ket­ing of Sports­max not­ed that her com­pa­ny was very se­ri­ous about the SS­FL here in T&T and Schools Boys Foot­ball League in Ja­maica as the high school's sports in the re­gion are seen by Sports­max as their great­est in­vest­ment in Caribbean Youth.

Lee, al­so had some fan­tas­tic news for view­ers as she not­ed there will be a marked in­creased in the num­ber of match­es be­ing shown live on lo­cal tele­vi­sion, CNC3, which has made a com­mit­ment to broad­cast 21 match­es all live.

With re­spect to the SS­FL Girls In­ter-Col, Lee al­so stat­ed that for a sec­ond year run­ning Sports­max will al­so be broad­cast­ing the fi­nal live as part of its pack­age for the 2018 sea­son.

Ho­n­ourable An­tho­ny Gar­cia, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion praised the SS­FL for con­tin­u­ing to give the na­tion's youth the op­por­tu­ni­ty to de­vel­op them­selves holis­ti­cal­ly.

Gar­cia point­ed out that there were 110 sec­ondary schools that are par­tic­i­pat­ing in all lev­els of the SS­FL from a to­tal of 135 schools, com­bin­ing for be­tween 13,000 and 14,000 boys and girls over­all.

In pay­ing cred­it to the coach­es, teach­ers and par­ents, Gar­cia re­mind­ed all that if the league is deemed as be­ing suc­cess­ful its means that the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in T&T is al­so suc­cess­ful.

Oth­er spon­sors speak­ing at the launch of the new sea­son in­clud­ed Tari Lovell, Spon­sor­ship Man­ag­er at Dig­i­cel Group; Kurt Headley, Head of Re­tail Bank­ing First Cit­i­zens; Kel­li-Marie Pa­tel, Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions at Shell and An­tho­ny Lovelace, Se­nior Mar­ket­ing Co-Or­di­na­tor of Co­ca-Co­la.

Up­com­ing Match­es

To­day

Venue: Mar­vin Lee Sta­di­um, Ma­coya:

Va­len­cia Sec­ondary vs San Juan North Sec­ondary, 3.30pm

Trin­i­ty Col­lege East vs St Bene­dict's Col­lege, 5.30pm

On Sat­ur­day

Fa­ti­ma Col­lege vs Bish­op's High, Fa­ti­ma Col­lege Ground, Mu­cu­rapo, 3.40 pm

Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege vs Trin­i­ty Col­lege Mo­ka, Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um, Mara­bel­la, 3.40pm

Queen's Roy­al Col­lege vs East Mu­cu­rapo Sec­ondary, QRC Ground, St Clair, 3.40 pm

St An­tho­ny's Col­lege vs St Au­gus­tine Sec­ondary, St An­tho­ny's Col­lege Ground, West­moor­ings, 3.40 pm

St Mary's Col­lege vs Na­pari­ma Col­lege, St Mary's Col­lege Ground, St Clair, 3.40 pm