Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Organiser hails Victory Cup growth

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2020 | 12:21 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Benders Football Club’s Nicholas Ayre (left) rides a tackle from Malik Campbell of Ballaz Academy during their Under-9 match at the Victory Cup youth football tournament at G.C Foster College on Saturday. Bender won the match 1-0.
Benders Football Club’s Nicholas Ayre (left) rides a tackle from Malik Campbell of Ballaz Academy during their Under-9 match at the Victory Cup youth football tournament at G.C Foster College on Saturday. Bender won the match 1-0.

Gregory Jones, coordinator of last weekend’s Victory Cup youth football tournament, described this year’s competition as a huge success and is already expecting the next staging to surpass Saturday and Sunday’s massive competition.

The two-day tournament, which attracted 82 teams, ended on Sunday at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine with Phoenix Academy defeating Football Factory 4-0 to win the marquee Under-15 category.

Jones said he was very impressed with the talent level on display at the competition and is certain that the tournament will only get better in the future.

“I am overjoyed because nobody has ever done this before, as this was 82 teams competing over two days and so for us, this is the biggest tournament in the island,” said Jones.

“I think it was a remarkable achievement, and the support from the parents was overwhelming because we had over 2,000 persons in the venue over the two days,” he added.

“Grassroots football in Jamaica is alive and well and once there are tournaments like these, I know that the parents will come out to support it,” Jones stated.

Norbrook Strikers won the Under-13 competition after beating Ballaz Academy 2-1 on penalties. However, Ballaz did not leave the tournament empty-handed, after they edged Emmanuel Christian Academy 1-0 to lift the under-11 trophy. Lannaman’s defeated Ballaz 2-0 to claim the Under-nine title.

Emmanuel took home the under-seven trophy with a 2-0 win over Ballaz, while Torrington Basic School won the under-six title after their 1-0 win over St Joseph Infant.

Jones noted the increased competitiveness and quality of play among the teams as an indication that the nation’s youth football is developing well at the grassroot level.

“The standard of the football was very high because this is the most competitive tournament that we have ever hosted,” Jones said. “We had clubs like Harbour View and Ballaz, who is the top football academy in the country, and there were other academies coming out, and so I believe that this tournament can only get bigger,” Jones said.