T&TEC Sports Club took away a $150,000 cheque and one of their players, Akini Adams, was named Player of the Year when the bmobile National Super League held its awards ceremony on Wednesday at Jaffa Restaurant at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.
T&TEC, who will become a professional club and play in the T&T Pro League in May, won both the Super League Championship and Knockout titles in 2010.
They also had two players among the top five Players of the Year--Kevon Neaves (T&TEC), Akini Adams (T&TEC), Dominique Kerr (1976 FC Phoenix), Dorion Robinson (bmobile Joe Public FC) and Shervin Charles (WASA FC).
The semi-professional National Super League celebrates its tenth year in 2011 and at Wednesday's event a proposal for an increase in prize money was announced by Anthony Harford, managing director of All Sport, administrators of the league.
Harford said plans were in place for an increase in the prize sponsorship to $370,000.
In the new season, games will be played on Monday nights and Wednesdays due to the difficulty in securing venues on a weekend.
In attendance at Wednesday's function was Rudy Thomas, vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and president of the Southern Football Association, who was particularly proud of T&TEC's progression from South regional champions to National Super League champs, and now progressing to the T&T Pro League.
He congratulated the Super League clubs for their perseverance under many financial constraints and encouraged them to keep strengthening their club structure so as to sustain the spirit of football in their respective communities.
Speaking on behalf of title sponsors was TSTT's vice-president of Internal Audit and System Control, Fenwick Mills, who also congratulated T&TEC on their outstanding performance and motivated the other clubs to keep working hard by quoting Michael Jordan, when he said "winning is not everything, I have failed over and over, that's why I succeed".
Mills mentioned that TSTT was happy to be a part of the project for the last five years and is currently looking into the possibility of a renewed sponsorship.
2010 BMOBILE NATIONAL SUPER LEAGUE AWARDS:
Winners Knock Out—T&TEC—$40,000
Runners-up Knock Out—Valtrin FC—$20,000
5 Players of the Year—$1,000 each
1. Kevon Neaves – T&TEC
2. Akini Adams – T&TEC
3. Dominique Kerr – 1976 FC Phoenix
4. Dorion Robinson – bmobile Joe Public FC
5. Shervin Charles – WASA FC
Player of the Year: Akini Adams—T&TEC--$2,000
Champions National Super League—T&TEC—$125,000
2nd & 3rd place still to be decided due to matters pending—$75,000 & $40,000, respectively
Akini Adams cops MVP award.
By: Andrew Gioannetti (Guardian).
As expected, star performer of newly-promoted Pro League club, T&TEC, Akini Adams has been awarded with the prize for Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the National Super League’s 2010 end-of-season awards closing ceremony held at the Jaffa’s Restaurant, Queens Park Oval, Tragarete Road, yesterday.
Adams, a goalkeeper is the first person in his position to receive such an award. Another one of the “Electric Boys” outstanding players, forward Kevon Neaves, who topped the scoring charts with 19 goals, was named in a list of top five players for the 2010-2011 season.
Dorian Robinson of the Super League Joe Public team, Sherwin Charles of WASA FC, Dominique Kerr of Phoenix and Adams were the other recipients. They were presented with cheques valued at $1,000 and a trophy from league sponsors bmobile through president of the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) Oliver Camps.
T&TEC, champion of last year’s National Super League were also presented with a cheque for the sum of $125,000 from vice-president of audit and systems controls of TSTT, Fenwick Mills for their top placed finish in the league as well as a $20,000 cheque for the knockout competition.
The utility company club, represented by assistant manager, Melvin Springer was hailed for not only it’s success in the past season but for the participation over the years.
Mills addressed the audience expressing the telecommunication company’s interest in developing sport throughout the country. He said, “We are so enthusiastic about sport in general and in particular football.
In case you didn’t know, bmobile is the biggest supporter of sport in the country. I make no apologies for that. Bmobile has invested in our upcoming athletes.”
Mills revealed that the sponsor’s total expenditure on the league totalled $325,000. He then urged the present contingent of players to keep giving their all. Rudi Thomas, vice president of the TTFF in the opening address, urged Super League clubs to do their best to draw spectators back to club football.
“Clubs are required to sustain football. We need to move the organisation from being teams to clubs,” he said, giving examples of defunct clubs who had a history of solid support. “It’s a chicken and egg situation. You cannot raise your standard if nobody comes to see your football.”
Thomas went on to describe that the league ideally should consist of 12 clubs. “We will have discussions about it.”
T&TEC look a promising side, stepping up to the Pro League. The 2010 Super League’s top club can boast of scoring by far the most goals with 59, an impressive 25 more than the nearest highest scoring clubs, Stokely Vale FC and Defence Force FC’s Super League outfit.
They have also been very solid in defence and between the posts which was evident by goalkeeper Adams’ MVP award, conceding only 13 in 20 games.
“We look good in attack so at most we may add five players more so for the midfield,” said absent T&TEC manager, Peter Mohan in a telephone interview.
“I believe we have the best goalkeeper in the country. I’m making a statement. Playing in the Super League some of the country’s best players are overlooked.
Adams commands his defence, he has been excellent.” While T&TEC has been accepted into the Pro League, three teams have advanced to the bmobile Super League after competing in a five-match Super League qualifying tournament.
The tournament featured the best six clubs of the six zones across T&T. West Side Stars, M&M Real Maracas and Eagles United will participate in the bmobile National Super League next season after finishing first, second and third, respectively.