It will be a bumper sea­son in the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League this year, pres­i­dent William Wal­lace has said, and mem­bers of the Cre­den­tials Com­mit­tee of the SS­FL are work­ing around the clock to en­sure that this hap­pens.

The League will kick-off next Thurs­day with a dou­ble­head­er at the Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Tu­na­puna be­tween new­ly Pre­mier Di­vi­sion pro­mot­ed school Va­len­cia Sec­ondary tak­ing on San Juan Sec­ondary from 3 pm, fol­lowed by the fea­ture clash be­tween St Bene­dict's Col­lege and Trin­i­ty Col­lege East at 5 pm, a match that will be tele­vised live on Caribbean Sports Tele­vi­sion Net­work Sports­max.

Wal­lace point­ed out that mem­bers of the cre­den­tial com­mit­tee are at this point, work­ing hard to en­sure there are no prob­lems with play­ers' reg­is­tra­tion, as what took place last year. De­spite a high-qual­i­ty of on-the-field dis­play in the SS­FL last sea­son, the League was plagued by im­prop­er reg­is­tra­tion of play­ers mov­ing from club teams to schools, as well as stu­dents with false cer­tifi­cates en­ter­ing schools for the sake of just play­ing foot­ball.

Wal­lace told Guardian Me­dia Sports that his ex­ec­u­tive took a de­ci­sion to start the League a week lat­er in an at­tempt to al­le­vi­ate all and any con­cerns of stu­dents be­ing il­le­gal­ly reg­is­tered. He said, "This is what's hap­pen­ing as we speak. The schools are in the process of deal­ing with reg­is­tra­tion of stu­dents and the cre­den­tials com­mit­tee is al­so mon­i­tor­ing stu­dent/play­ers for the SS­FL."

Wal­lace said, how­ev­er, that if cer­tifi­cates are found to be false, then his ex­ec­u­tives will not be held ac­count­able, as they can on­ly deal with the in­fo be­fore them. "That will be a dif­fer­ent is­sue," Wal­lace said.

Be­fore next week's kick-off the League will be launched a day ear­li­er (Wednes­day) at a press con­fer­ence at the hall of Fa­ti­ma Col­lege, Mu­cu­rapo, at which Wal­lace will re­veal a num­ber of new de­vel­op­ments and busi­ness-part­ner­ships that would make the league a stand-out one. He said he is still in the process of cross­ing T's and dot­ting I's on new agree­ments.

How­ev­er, he called on stake­hold­ers to do the right thing to avoid any mishaps, say­ing 'We are deal­ing with young men and women who are our fu­ture lead­ers, so we must set an ex­am­ple for them."

Last year's Co­ca-Co­la In­ter­Col champs Shi­va Boys Hin­du Col­lege will play no part in this year's League, ei­ther at the Cham­pi­onship or the Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion, af­ter be­ing guilty of break­ing a num­ber of the SS­FL's rules that led to its de­mo­tion. Wal­lace said he was hop­ing to see the school tak­ing part in the cham­pi­onship di­vi­sion this year but it on­ly reg­is­tered to play in the ju­nior di­vi­sions.

Fyz­abad Sec­ondary which field­ed play­ers with false doc­u­ments last year will al­so play on­ly at the ju­nior lev­el this year.

Wal­lace al­so took a swipe at Mike Awai, the North East Stars tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor for com­ments that the school's league was de­stroy­ing young play­ers, say­ing peo­ple first need to un­der­stand the role of the SS­FL be­fore mak­ing wild com­ments.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian