Sun | Mar 18, 2018

$1 million up for grabs in Elite youth league

Published:Thursday | March 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Back row, from left: Head of marketing at SportsMax, Tanya Lee; Scotiabank's vice-president of marketing, Yanique Forbes-Patrick; and Jamaica's National U-17 coach, Andrew Edwards, pose with the representatives from the 13 parish teams of the inaugural JFF/SportsMax Elite League at the competition's press launch yesterday at the JFF head office.

Over $1 million in total prizes will be up for grabs at this year's first staging of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)/SportsMax Under-18 Elite League football competition.

The tournament, which is Jamaica's premier youth football competition, comprises of 13 parish teams, with over 325 of the best youth players taking part.

Speaking at yesterday's launch, which was held at the JFF office in New Kingston, general secretary of the federation, Raymond Grant, said the competition is a step in the right direction as they seek to develop the country's football.

"The objective of the competition is to foster an increase in competitive matches at the highest level for our youth footballers as they improve their game and progress to the national senior team and other professional and collegiate opportunities," said Grant.

"The JFF has made a commitment to invest in local football so that it can serve as the foundation of our senior level players in the future," Grant added.

Tanya Lee, head of marketing at SportsMax, said her company is committed to contributing to the development of Jamaica's football.

"SportsMax has been instrumental in ensuring that local and international coverage of youth football continues to receive unprecedented international exposure," said Lee.

"We started with our coverage of the schoolboy football seasons in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and see the SportsMax Elite league as a further opportunity to amass the best players at the high school level," Lee added.




The competition will run from March 18th to May 20th, with games played across the country and broadcast live on SportsMax each Saturday.

Each parish team will include the top 25 players, selected by their parish association, with at least 20 players being Under-18 and no more than five players between the ages of 18 and 20.

The winning team will take home $500,000, the second place team $200,000 and $100,000 each going to the losing semi-finalists. There will also be awards of $100,000 each for the Fairplay and Most Valuable Player awards.

Associate sponsors ScotiaBank will conduct a development clinic, the ScotiaBank Elite Academy, which will reward the play-off teams and selected standout players of the tournament with specialised training conducted by international coaches.