'Slash Dash' finally delivers at Guinness Street Football Challenge
Ricardo Vassell, captain of the Guinness Street Football Challenge nationals winners Slash Dash said the group has been playing together since they were young and are always in the running for trophies but don't usually come home trumps.
Vassell says his mother has a keen interest in their six-a-side activities but always questioned their championship credentials, as they always fall short of top spot.
After coming up short at the Guinness Street Football Challenge parish tournament, where they lost in the semis, the Central Village-based teams gave Vassell's mother the shock of her life on Sunday when they dispatched all before them in the national finals at the Tony Spaulding Complex to walk away with the Guinness Street Football Challenge trophy and $300,000 prize money.
"We have been playing this (type of competitions) from little-boy days and my mother always curse me and say I am not winning anything. She says every time we go somewhere, they beat us up and we are always telling her that our day must come and it did come on Sunday at the nationals ... and she couldn't wait until I come home," he beamed.
The lanky player netted the finals' only goal and was very pleased to have the game's lone strike and the goal that secured the title for the St Catherine team.
"We went into the games confident. We knew we would win ... The plan (in final) was to score the first goals and that saw us through. To come to a final and score the winning goal, I couldn't believe I did it and I am very happy to score that goal," he said.
Guinness Brand Manager Andrew Anguin thought the eventual winners rose to the occasion more than any other team and he looks forward to their participation in the regional tournament.
"Congratulations to the champion team, who really showed that they are made of more on the day. Coming back from defeat at the parish final, they now have a chance to raise the Caribbean trophy," he told The Gleaner.
"Overall, it was a wonderful experience, we grew from strength to strength as we moved from parish to parish. The most pleasing aspect was two-fold for me. One was the teams sending in their text messages, even the ones that lost, thanking us for the opportunity. And it was great how we were able to connect and have a meaningful impact on the communities and everyone involved," he declared.