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Gardner underlines teamwork at U-13 launch

Published:Friday | April 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Former English Premier League football player and former Jamaica national football star, Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner (back, centre), sharing lens time with sponsors, stakeholders and players of the 27th VMBS/St. James Football Association Under-13 Football Competition.

Former English Premier League football player and former Jamaica national football star, Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner, brought the message of teamwork to the future generation of footballers at Wednesday's kick-off of the 27th VMBS/St James Football Association Under-13 football competition in Montego Bay, St James.

Gardner told the 31 primary school football teams that there is no room for selfishness on the field and everyone should instead be a team player who makes decisions that benefit their respective squads.

"You should remember that the game of football is not only about you but is about the entire team," said Gardner, who currently coaches the National Under-20 men's team.


Best choice


"Sometimes you are on the field and want to shoot to goal but the best choice is to pass the ball to your teammate because he is in a better position to score. At the end of the day, that's what is more important for the team," he added.

Gardner further urged the young players to eat right, train hard and above all else, be disciplined and never give up on their dreams.

"There were many times when I wanted to give up when I used to be in England, the weather got cold and the going gets tough, but there was a motto that I grew up on, and that was, 'a quitter never wins and a winner never quits'," he noted while wishing the teams all the best in the competition.

The 2017 competition will feature six zones and the top two teams from each zone will advance to the quarter-finals. The keenly contested tournament is expected to run for two months, and in addition to cash prizes, the teams and their respective players will also be up for best defender and top goalscorer, among other sectional prizes.


May the best team win


"We expect you (teams) to play fair football, have a good season, and may the best team win," said Hopeton Gilchrist, the competition match coordinator.

Christopher Denny, VMBS's VP of sales and services, outlined that company is proud of the almost three decades commitment to both youth and football development in the west.

"The competition has contributed to the future of football," said Denny. "It has honed the skills of many, some of whom have moved on to play nationally and internationally. It has also fostered camaraderie within the school communities as parents, spectators and general supporters band together for each successful staging," he added.

Defending champions Granville All-Age and Barracks Road Primary kicked off the first match in the competition at the UDC playing field in the second city.