The 2017 controversial Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division has ended with Presentation College San Fernando (SF) coming away with the title. Congratulations to both the technical staff and teaching staff at the school for sticking to the rules, being fair and still ending up victorious.
It must give them immense satisfaction to know that they have abided by the rules, worked hard and sweated blood and sand to be victorious. It is indeed refreshing to know that a school was able to abide by all the rules that were put in place by the very principals and teachers and come out on top.
It is beyond comprehension to understand how the same persons making the rules are the very ones breaking them. These nasty occurrences brought the league into disrepute far too many times and I hope that moving forward, the executive of the League ensures that what happened this year will never occur in the future.
Turning to the more positive aspects of the league, there were some excellent games with some good football produced by some of the teams. As I wrote previously, I feared for the Tobago teams and both have been demoted.
I trust that both schools will get some help as they left a lot to be desired technically. I am happy to see another Tobago school - Bishops High School - being promoted. Let us hope they will be a real threat next year.
Shiva Boys were a huge disappointment with their off the field antics and they are fortunate to just be demoted. St Mary’s, Fatima and San Juan North showed on their day that they could match any of the big three.
Unfortunately, Fatima and St Mary’s were too inconsistent and neither seemed to possess the ‘never say die’ attitude that was needed in every game. The talent was there but the grit was lacking at times. The San Juan boys lacked the concentration needed for 90 mins and they conceded silly goals when they were on top. However, they are a talented side that can cause an upset if they played with consistent drive in moving forward.
Trinity East seemed a much more talented side than where they finished the season but they lacked the discipline to see out results when it was needed. St Augustine, QRC and Trinity Moka were not as talented as the years gone by and it was always going to be a struggle for them to avoid the drop.
Carapichaima East was a real surprise. They played some excellent games and offered good value for their position. They were perhaps a little unfortunate to lose some games that they could have easily won.
The top 3 – Presentation College SF, Naparima College and St Anthony’s College were consistently the best teams and on any given day they would beat one another. Presentation and Naparima were well organised and coached and you could see their plan unfolding during a game. They both deserved to finish where they did. As they say, the table never lies.
There are so many talented players in the League which makes it difficult to choose a League team of the season. However, these players have worked immensely hard and their efforts showed throughout earning them a place in my selection.
Jabari Gray (Presentation College SF).
Mylz Barrington (Presentation College SF), Rondell Payne (Naparima College), Derron John (St Anthony’s College), Joshua Araujo-Wilson (Fatima College).
Jordan Riley (Presentation College SF), Che Benny (St Anthony’s College), Jerrin Jackie (Presentation College SF), Haile Beckles (St Anthony’s College).
Brandon Semper (San Juan North Secondary), Judah St. Louis (Naparima College).
Levi Fernandes (Naparima College), Mickel Ravello (St Benedict’s College), Gabriel Nanton (St. Mary’s College), Kyle Thomas (San Juan North Secondary), Judah Garcia (Shiva Boys Hindu College), Renaldo Boyce (San Juan North Secondary), Devon Charles (St Mary’s College).