Hislop tells young footballers to dream big.
Mark Ramdeen of Naparima College was named the boys' "Player of the Year" while the top honours among the girls were shared between Pleasantville Secondary School duo Alexcia Ali and Jasandra Joesph at the awards ceremony of the Secondary School’s Football League (SSFL).
Yesterday, the young footballers were honoured and urged to dream big at the function held at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce.
Feature speaker and former national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop told the awardees that success was relative and not based on geographic barriers.
“In Jamaica or anyone of our small Caribbean islands we feel huge successes are the domain of those huge countries," said Hislop. "We don't ever feel, we can produce world leaders, world athletes, the greatest of intellects that can compete in this high stage, simply because we are this small. When the only difference is those countries despite their populations continue to support their brightest and understand exactly what they can achieve.”
The students, who are aspiring to take the sport further, was also told that dreaming big is one of the things we do not do well in T&T.
Hislop reminisced on the time he sat in the same auditorium saying, “I allowed myself to get lost in my dreams. Some of those dreams I accomplished and some of my accomplishments would have been part of those dreams but most of those dreams didn't, and that is okay. I think we have lost sight of the fact that success is a stepped process, achievement is a stepped process that needs to be thought through and thought out.”
Trophies and medals were presented to winners in each division including the Boys Under-13, U-14, girls U-15, junior, senior U-20 boys and girls, national titles, championships boys and girls zonal league.
Hislop went on to urge the youngsters to also dedicate their time to their academic career and indicated his passion was for designing cars.
He said, “I remember my father telling me that sports and academics go hand-in-hand. When you're playing well, you will do well in school. When you were getting good grades you will play better on the field. I have seen no kind of data to suggest this much but that is exactly how it worked out in my life, even to playing professionally in England, that discipline of time management stayed with me and provided a foundation for the successes that I had, in particular, the longevity of my career.
"I dreamed about designing cars which is my passion, which is why I went to school and did engineering while playing football. If football did not work out I would have designed a car or two, so give yourselves permission to dream big enough.”
Lamenting, that failure is part of succeeding, he urged the young athletes to give themselves space to fail and support each other. He said they should not get lost in the comments of social media and what is said about them on Twitter or Instagram.
SSFL president William Wallace, assured the footballers that they are working on programmes to assist them in obtaining higher education. He said the budget for the programme has been finalised and asked for corporate T&T assistance. He mentioned that Coca Cola was the first company to pledge support to this initiative.
Williams said, “The executive decided that the league should play a greater role in defying or assisting players who are desirous of pursuing tertiary education. We have decided on a scholarship programme to assist these players by providing funding their SATs tuition. The SAT is a requirement to get into the US colleges.
"We will be working with our international partner GPS who will source the colleges to place our players. Even though the programme is not fully operational, we were still able to engage GPS in the end of the season to conduct two combines, one in Trinidad and one in Tobago.”
He said over 400 players applied to GPS online. The report from this exercise revealed that a number of talented players, both boys and girls will find possible placements in colleges and universities.
Schools honoured with awards included Carapichaima East, Fatima College, Presentation College, San Fernando, El Dorado East, Queen’s Royal College, Pleasantville Secondary, Preysal Secondary, Trinity College East, Scarborough Secondary, Holy Name Convent, Port-of-Spain, Fyzabad Anglican, Chaguanas North, Holy Cross College, Naparima College, San Juan North, Bishop’s High, Mt Hope Secondary, Manzanilla Secondary, Miracle Ministries Pentecostal, Siparia West, Shiva Boys’ Hindu College, Malick Secondary, Speyside High, Five Rivers Secondary, Tranquillity Secondary and St Benedict’s College.
Ramdeen, Ali, Joseph claim top SSFL awards.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
MARK RAMDEEN of Naparima College was named as the male Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) 2018 season.
For the first time, there were joint female MVPs as fellow Lower Six students Alexcia Ali and Jasandra Joseph, both of Pleasantville Secondary, claimed top honours.
The SSFL held its annual award ceremony yesterday, at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Couva.
The 18-year-old Ramdeen was a member of the Naparima team who captured the treble last season – Premier Division, South Zone Intercol and National Intercol titles.
“I felt really proud that I came out on top and I accomplished all that I wanted to accomplish in the year,” said Ramdeen.
The goals, which were set out by the Siparia resident, were “to be the MVP and to win every (title on offer).”
The midfielder was also involved with the national Under-20 team which participated in the CONCACAF Championships in Florida, United States last November.
“It was a great experience playing against different countries and against people that may be better than us,” said Ramdeen.
The diminutive Ramdeen credited the role played by Naparima coach Angus Eve in his development.
“He has made me become a more mature player. I used to run with the ball plenty but he (broke) it down a little bit and made me more effective on the field.”
Ramdeen, who is studying Physical Education and Information Technology, is eager to either pursue a football scholarship or become a professional player.
Ramdeen, schoolmate Levi Fernandez, John Paul Rochford (QRC), Kesean St Rose (St Augustine Secondary) and Keon Boney (St Benedict’s) were the top five male players of the year.
Ali and Joseph joined Afiyah Cornwall (Carapichaima East Secondary), Celeine Loraine (Signal Hill) and Klil Keshwar (Bishop Anstey) as the top female players of the year.
The petite 18-year-old Ali, formerly of Penal Secondary, was the star of the show in the Girls Intercol final, as she netted a hat-trick as Pleasantville whipped Signal Hill 3-0.
About her joint MVP award, the striker said, “It felt great, knowing all your hard work paid off. (The season) was different because it was the first time reaching this far (with) this great team.”
The Penal resident credited her uncle Anthony Rose for getting her involved in the sport. She said, “I’ll either like to go pro or on a scholarship.”
Joseph, who is called “Mama” by her teammates, said, “It felt great. It was a great season. This (was) my second season playing with Pleasantville.”
She is not content with the titles earned by her school this past season (National Intercol, South Zonal Intercol and South Zone Championship).
“I want to keep winning and (guiding) the young ones,” said the Gasparillo resident.
Like Ramdeen and Ali, the 20-year-old midfielder is eyeing either a professional deal or a football scholarship in the foreseeable future.
Former national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was the feature speaker at the event.
Honour Roll – All Star Teams (schools in brackets) –
GOALKEEPERS: Emmanuel John (San Juan North), Jabari Grey (Presentation San Fernando), Jacob Camacho (Fatima), Levi Fernandez (Naparima).
DEFENDERS: Christian Ransome (Trinity East), Jeron Pantor (Naparima), Kareem John (San Juan North), Kerdell Sween (Trinity East), Raheim Jawahir (Trinity Moka), Tyrike Andrews (Naparima).
MIDFIELDERS: Dwight Yorke (Valencia), Haile Beckles (St Anthony’s), Isaiah Chase (San Juan North), John Paul Rochford (QRC), Jordan Riley (Presentation San Fernando), Josiah King (Carapichaima East), Mark Ramdeen (Naparima), Rivaldo Coryat (St Augustine), Zion McLeod (East Mucurapo).
STRIKERS: Dominique Lyons (Bishop’s High), Keon Boney (St Benedict’s), Kesean St Rose (St Augustine), Kevon Williams (Carapichaima East), Ronaldo Boyce (San Juan North), Tyrese Spicer (St Mary’s).
GOALKEEPERS: Afiya Carmichael (Tranquillity), Akayla Walcott (Pleasantville), Celine Logan (Point Fortin East), Klil Keshwar (Bishop Anstey).
DEFENDERS: Derisha Bristol (Signal Hill), Jhaney Simon (Pleasantville), Latifha Pascall (Pleasantville), Leah Massiah (Carapichaima East), Nathifa Hackshaw (Five Rivers), Shawnelle Rose (Pleasantville), Tyanna Williams (Bishop Anstey East).
MIDFIELDERS: Ashante Campbell (Signal Hill), Chrissy Mitchell (Pleasantville), Jalene Sobers (Bishop Anstey), Jasandra Joseph (Pleasantville), Kayla Baboolal (Valencia), Moenesha Meijas (El Dorado East), Shneice Maynard (Carapichaima East).
STRIKERS: Afiyah Cornwall (Carapichaima East), Alexcia Ali (Pleasantville), Celine Loraine (Signal Hill), Feliciay King (Tranquillity), Jada Gaskin (Five Rivers), Mia Mitchell (Five Rivers), Taliah Simon (Carapichaima).