Wed, Oct

Concept Coaching President, Roger Smith

CONCEPT Coaching, headed by club president Roger Smith, kicks off its groundbreaking Super Under-8 Youth League on Sunday with five matches at the Prime Minister’s Park in Five Rivers, Arouca.

This weekend’s opening matches set the stage for the two-month-long tournament; the longest-ever competition held locally, for footballers within this age group.

It features ten teams – Trendsetter Hawks, Wasa FC, ULT UN, FC Duranta, Coz Football Academy, AIA, Emp Youth, FC Ginga, Beatnix SC and hosts Concept Coaching – and will be held weekly, on Sundays, each match day at a different venue. It’s a seven-a-side contest, with ten-minute halves and will be held on one-third of the football fields with specific FIFA size measurements to facilitate players of this age group, along with a smaller-sized goal.

Interested participants cannot turn nine years old during the tournament. Additionally, girls are also encouraged to play. On any match day, two girls can be on a team at any given time.

The girls will be allowed an age group of ten years and under, but cannot turn 11 during the competition. All FIFA rules apply except for off-side.

Secondary Schools’ Football League (SSFL) president Merere Gonzales welcomed the initiative and believes it serves as a good transition for players at the primary school level, intent on breaking into the SSFL in the near future.

“This event is going to be a historic one because it has never been done before in history of T&T. What would have happened in the past was possibly U8 one-day tournaments but this one will run for two months.

“It’s pre-preparation for the SSFL, this is one of our aims. The primary schools league that is presently in existence is limited with its numbers.

“These events present another opportunity for student in primary schools at that age to be engaged in football outside of primary school and by doing it, then more of them will become interested in the game of football,” Gonzales said.

He also wants the tournament to help young players veer away from criminal elements and motivate them to do better, through sport.

Gonzales remains hopeful, with the permission of parents, that games can be video recorded for both players and coaches to have the ability to look back on matches, to highlight strengths and weaknesses during gameplay.

“We’re hoping the games would also be videotaped, granting permission from parents, so they can look back on it to provide the academies, clubs, technical staff and coaches to use this platform to evaluate and assess the performance level of the players within their academy.

“So they can identify the positives and negatives, and put corrective measures so that as they get older, the fundamentals would be addressed and become easier for them in the future to get enlisted at the national level.”

Match Day One (Sunday)

Beatnix SC vs Concept Coaching (9am)

Emp Youth vs FC Ginga (9.30am)

AIA vs COX FA (10am)

Wasa FC vs FC Duranta (10.30am)

Trendsetter Hawks vs ULT UN (11am)