DEBE High School girls’ football team made well on their personal promise that they would once again retain top spot in all divisions of the National Girls’ Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL).
The dominant southerners made no mistake in this year’s edition of the national competition, as they went on to claim top honours in their five contested categories, claiming the Coca Cola Intercol, Coca Cola South Zone, SSFL South Zone, BGTT/ First Citizens “Big Four” and the Trinidad Intercol titles at the close of the 2012 season last week.
Their closing encounter of the season saw them face Bishops (Tobago) in the finals of the National Girls’ Intercol. To no surprise, the Debe High team drubbed Bishops 5-1 and casually lifted every female title up-for-grabs this season, yet again.
With the likes of experienced national Under-17 players such as Kayla Taylor (forward), Akilah Sparks (defender) and Patrice Vincent (captain), the south team’s golden run came as no surprise for their followers. While a lot of the team’s strengths lie in their senior players, heavy focus has always been injected into the younger and upcoming athletes.
Manager of the Debe team, Clive Auguste admitted that the successes of his team also have a lot to do with the proper upbringing of their future stars.
“When the girls train, its Form one, Form two, Form three, come up. For the young ones to know what to expect (on the field), they must train, practice and be around the bigger players.
We don’t always rely on these senior players because we’re training our youngsters to play with and like them,” he explained. Auguste openly credited coach Anthony Murphy for remaining committed to the team and leading them to another title-filled season.
Murphy was hailed as the “main contributor” to the side’s success and was held in high regard by the school’s staff and student population. He also acknowledged some of the school’s past players for their input toward setting a high but achievable standard for the young.
“Players like Elizabeth Ng Wai, Linfah Jones, Sherelle Young, Mariah Shade and Stephanie Bean have all set the bar for our present players. These girls have always been trend-setters on the field, and they’re making a lot of progress off the field as well (educationally). Debe is known to produce some of the best players in Trinidad and Tobago. We may be the most hated football team here,” he added.
Over the July/August holiday period, the Debe High School team was priviledged to have been invited by the Consul General of TT Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam to visit New York to develop their athletics and focus on their education.
The squad visited the US for 15 days and got a chance to play against college teams. Auguste was in high praise of this initiative and admitted that it “opened the girls’ eyes” to professional football and other scholarship opportunities.
However, he revealed that for next year’s season, the Debe team will be losing three crucial players from their starting line-up. Captain Vincent and Amanda Theodore will complete their final year next July.
Taylor is still uncertain if she will continue her education at the institution since she is presently in Form Five. Auguste was not bothered by their expected loss and explained that their players can handle anything.
“We will be losing some big names next season, but the remaining girls will continue in good stride,” he said. “It may be a total transition next year since I’m not sure if I’ll still be here and I’m still unsure of the coach’s decision. Whatever decision, we know we have done an exceptional job and the school is in high spirits for their football team.”
Debe High School have once again completed another season unbeaten and have lost just two games in the last five years of competition.