Ali Cole invitational expanded in second year
Excelsior High School announced the start of the second staging of the Green and Yellow Ali Cole Invitational Schoolboy Football Tournament during a media launch at its auditorium on Thursday.
Named in the memory of former Excelsior High football captain Allan Cole Jr, the tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Excelsior school grounds.
Previously, only eight teams from the corporate Area were invited to compete. This year’s tournament, however, will feature 10 teams from both the urban and rural areas to compete in two groups of five.
Each match will last 30 minutes with a two-minute break as an incentive to boost an attacking style of football. Should any match end in a draw, it will be decided by penalties to ensure that there will always be a winner.
Group A consists of defending champions and hosts Excelsior, with Walker Cup champions Hydel High School, Dinthill Technical, Glenmuir High School, and last year’s beaten finalists Vauxhall High School.
Group B features ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup and Olivier Shield champions Clarendon College, Camperdown High School, Garvey Maceo High School, Charlie Smith High School, and Anchovy High.
In attendance at the launch as a representative of Vauxhall High, was Manning Cup player Sylvester Douglas, who said he is eager to play in the tournament.
“The feeling is very great. Our preseason is going well, the boys are playing very well, and we have a lot of expectations,” Douglas said. “It’s football, and the ball is what you’d call round, so we just need to do our best.”
In contrast, coach Everald Campbell of Excelsior High feels that his players are not fully prepared for the competition at this point.
“Right now, we’re not fully prepared.” Campbell explained. “Our preseason hasn’t been wonderful. We started off late because of administrative problems. That’s why we’re having some hitches. Seeing the zone draw, we have a mountain to climb.”