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25
Tue, Jun

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Mal­ick Sec­ondary's re­turn to the top flight Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion is 50 per cent com­plete.

The school, known for its de­vel­op­ment of a num­ber of play­ers that rep­re­sent­ed the coun­try at the high­est lev­el, on Fri­day claimed the top spot in the North Zone of the Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion with a con­vinc­ing 4-0 vic­to­ry over Blan­chisseause Sec­ondary on the road, thus se­cur­ing a place in the Big Five play­offs to be­gin in few days time.

Act­ing prin­ci­pal and team man­ag­er Ger­ald Pas­cal-Man­swell said he was elat­ed the school had part­ly achieved its tar­get this sea­son af­ter a num­ber of key sys­tem­at­ic changes pre­vent­ed the school from be­ing com­pet­i­tive enough to qual­i­fy and stay in the pre­mier­ship di­vi­sion.

These changes in­clude the shock­ing re­moval of its Sixth Form Class and an ad­just­ment to the over­all school sys­tem which pre­vents the school from re­cruit­ing young play­ers from the Ju­nior Sec­ondary schools.

Pas­cal-Man­swell ex­plained this change has led to a re­duc­tion of its stu­dent pop­u­la­tion and there­by de­creas­ing its po­ten­tial tal­ent pool of foot­ballers.

An­oth­er set back for his school, ac­cord­ing to Pas­cal-Man­swell, was the loss of key stal­warts in the sport such as long-serv­ing coach Ken Fran­co and oth­ers.

The school's achieve­ment to date has been due to a two-year de­vel­op­ment plan, head­ed by Pas­cal-Man­swell and new coach An­tho­ny Bartholomew, who agreed to coach the team for free, all in­tent on re­turn­ing the school to top-flight school's league.

"We are now be­gin­ning to see the fruits of this hard work. I am re­al­ly hop­ing now for the team to do well in the play-off," Pas­cal-Man­swell said. The top two teams from the Big Five will earn places in next year's pre­mier­ship di­vi­sion.

Mal­ick has been joined by cen­tral zone cam­paign­ers Ch­agua­nas North Sec­ondary, south zone win­ners Pleas­antville Sec­ondary and east cham­pi­ons Holy Cross Col­lege. In To­ba­go how­ev­er, a win­ner is yet to be de­ter­mined. Ma­son Hall High School topped the zone with 23 points af­ter nine match­es, but Spey­side High has two games in hand.

An of­fi­cial from the sis­ter-isle of To­ba­go told Guardian Me­dia Sports the SS­FL's Dis­ci­pli­nary Com­mit­tee will to­mor­row, ad­ju­di­cate on an ap­peal on Sig­nal Hill's use of uni­form dur­ing Sat­ur­day's key clash with Spey­side. The League is al­so to de­cide on whether Spey­side will be grant­ed full three points and as many goals for its un­played clash with Pen­te­costal Light and Life re­cent­ly, which did not play be­cause the lat­ter could not pro­vide se­cu­ri­ty.

Should Spey­side win these two mat­ters it will move to 23 points, same as Ma­son Hall, and will win the zone by hav­ing a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence.

Mean­while, in the cen­tral zone, Ch­agua­nas will be mak­ing its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive bid for pro­mo­tion, af­ter last sea­son's at­tempt end­ed in fail­ure, while in the east Holy Cross se­cured its pas­sage through to the Big Five fol­low­ing the rul­ing of the SS­FL's Cre­den­tials Com­mit­tee to deduct all Ari­ma North's points this sea­son for its il­le­gal use of Josi­ah Joseph, Leonar­do Da Cos­ta and his broth­er Le­an­dro Da Cos­ta.