Fri, Dec

The goalkeeper keeps clos watch as Randy Hughes of Mayaro All Stars bursts past the Seed of Greatness Biche FC defenders during the launch of the bpTT-AMSF Mayaro Football League. - Courtesy CJ Communications

Two first-half strikes from Shakeeme Octave and a brilliant solo effort from Akeel Paul saw the Mayaro All Star team defeat Seed of Greatness Biche FC 3-0 in an exhibition match at the opening ceremony of the 2023 bpTT-AMSF Mayaro Football League, at Mayaro Recreation Ground on Sunday.

Decked in red and white, suiting the Republic Day holiday, the combined Mayaro team unofficially got their campaign under way with a win over the defending champs.

The launch marked the return of the popular league after a four-year hiatus owing to the pandemic. The league kicks off on Saturday and will feature more than ten teams.

Goal scorer Octave was pleased for the tournament’s return and believes initiatives like this help unearth new talent.

“It’s great to be back out and competing in the Mayaro Football League and my goals were due to the overall team effort. I look forward to playing with Top Form FC when the league starts, and we are geared up and determined to win.

“I’ve admired this competition since I was young, and it is a great platform for players of any age to compete and entertain our football-loving community,” he said.

A statement by CJ Communications said the competition has been in existence since 1998, has been supported by energy company bpTT from inception, and is currently managed by the All Mayaro Sports Foundation (AMSF).

Sharing words of encouragement on behalf of bpTT was project production team lead Kester Alexis.

“This partnership with the AMSF is just one facet in terms of nurturing an all-rounded community. With a proud football legacy, this beautiful game embraced the strength of unity that sport brings, while developing life skills in the participants including dedication and teamwork.

“This league is a great platform for young people to express positive energy and uplift themselves. It is also a nurturing ground for future stars, and powered by their energy, we expect an excellent competition.”

Featuring teams from across the southeastern region, this year the league will introduce an open competition format where players of any age can register with teams to compete in the Razack Jan League and the Leston Paul Knockout Cup.

As part of the opening ceremony, the AMSF also honoured several people who contributed to the development of football at the community and national level. Plaques were presented to proud recipients including Peter Alfred, Randy Hagley, Joseph Weekes, Stacy-Ann Sylvan, Anderson Simon, Donnamay McIntosh, Donville Chitan, Wayne Octave, Wendell Perez and Shezir Mohammed.

Those present included Tricia Lynch, managing director of Hydro Tech Ltd, and Renelle Kissoon, councillor for Cocal-Mafeking.

T&T Super League president Jameson Rigues was recently promoted to the role of AMSF chairman. Rigues said in order to encourage greater youth participation, the league will feature a youth football festival during a weekend in October.

“The renewal and rebirth of the Mayaro Football League is another step in terms of re-engineering the approach of AMSF in terms of sports management in the wider community. To realise this broad vision, however, we need the support of all stakeholders.

“We must thank bpTT for empowering our community through the avenue of sport. I invite people from all over the country to visit us and witness the spectacle that is the Mayaro Football League.”

SOURCE: T&T Newsday