Thirty-six teams from 16 clubs in both Trinidad and Tobago will compete in three divisions for the 2012 edition of the newly-sponsored National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) National Youth Football League, which kicks off tomorrow.
The title sponsor, NLCB has pumped $350,000 into the staging of the league, which runs until the last Saturday in July (28). More than double the number of clubs which participated in the 2011 edition, will challenge in this year’s competition.
The NLCB National Youth League, which is hosted under the auspices of the T&T Football Federation (T&TFF), is also being marketed and managed by the federation’s contracted marketing company, All Sports Promotions.
The campaign was officially launched, yesterday, at the NLCB Suite, Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. TTFF vice-president Rudolph “Rudy” Thomas was present at the event’s opening, along with several coaches, club managers, All Sport representatives and NLCB executives.
Thomas, together with Harford lauded the contribution by the NLCB, with the latter noting that the sponsor has played an important role in the development of football, despite not being in the sport’s forefront. Aside from the $350,000 provided by the NLCB for the National Youth League, the sponsor has also invested over a million dollars through contracts in other sport related projects.
The National Youth League is no longer being financed by Concacaf, as the Caribbean’s football governing body originally issued its sponsorship to launch the start-up project, leaving the league to seek alternate corporate sponsorship after it seals a foundation.
According to director of All Sport Promotions, Anthony Harford, the directive of the NLCB National Youth League is to provide sustained high-quality competition among youths nationwide, while providing club administrators with an opportunity to apply knowledge and expertise in an organised event. It is also aimed at providing coaches with multiple opportunities to evaluate progress in their young charges.
The participating clubs from Trinidad includes: Joe Public Football Club, FC Santa Rosa, Westside Superstarz FC, Tunapuna Titans, Real Maracas, Southern Football Academy, SKHY Academy, WASA Football Club, Club Sando, Moruga Football Club, Cap Off Youths and Siparia Spurs. Tobago’s representatives in the competitions includes: 1976 FC Phoenix, Stokely Vale FC, St Clair Coaching School and Roxborough Lakers.
The winning team in each age group will receive $5,000 (Trinidad) and $1,500 (Tobago) worth of sporting equipment, with the runner-up taking home $3,000 in equipment (Trinidad only). The Most Promising Player will also walk away with $500 (Trinidad) and $200 (Tobago) worth of sporting gear. Matches in the Under-14 division will run at two period at 35 minutes each, with the Under-16s running for two 40 minute periods.
Forty-five (45) minutes will be played per half in the Under-18 division. The first match day will kick off tomorrow in the all three divisions in action, in Trinidad only. Tobago’s National Youth League campaign will kick off one week later on June 2.