Reigning champion team Naparima College will begin the defence of its titles, the Premier Division, South Zone Intercol and the National Intercol title, on Wednesday when the team hosts St Mary's College at its home ground at Lewis Street, San Fernando from 3:30 pm.
Under coach Angus Eve, a former national standout, the team has become a dominant force among its peers in the schools, and on Saturday, the boys that sport the Blue and white strips, sent a stern warning to all opponents by claiming the opening Digicel Cup by beating arch-rivals Presentation College of San Fernando 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out, after a 1-1 stalemate.
This season the southerners will be minus three of the players from their team that played last year, and they may fancy their chances against a rebuilding CIC outfit. The 'Saints' as they are popularly called have also made several key changes to their coaching staff, bringing in former national defensive midfielder Kerry Jamerson as their head coach. But it would be an uphill task for Jamerson's men who will be required to be firm in the backline to cope with the Naps lethal attacking force.
At Speyside in Tobago, the home team will be up against Malick Secondary, a team that has been out of the top flight schools football for some years, due mainly to changes in the school system, a Dean at the school said last year. However, the team's return was met with huge excitement by past and present players, members of the school and members of the Morvant/Laventille community, for whom the school has been a sense of pride.
Meanwhile, San Juan North Secondary, last year's East Zone Intercol winners and National Intercol runner-up, will have a date with Pleasantville Secondary which is also making a return to the SSFL top flight, while Presentation College (San Fernando) will visit Trinity College Moka at the team's home ground in Maraval. All matches begin at 3:30 pm. This year the League will feature a record number of sponsors, as Digicel, First Citizens Bank and Shell T&T (Premier Division sponsors), Coca-Cola (Intercol sponsor), Malta Carib and sponsor/broadcaster SportsMax, all joining to maker the League the fastest-rising high school football competition in the Caribbean.
Wednesday's SSFL Matches
San Juan North Secondary - Pleasantville Secondary @San Juan
St. Benedict’s College - Trinity East @Mannie Ramjohn
Speyside Secondary - Malick Secondary @Speyside
Trinity College Moka - Presentation College @Trinity Moka
East Mucurapo Secondary - Queens Royal College @Fatima
St. Augustine Secondary - St. Anthony’s College @St Augustine
Naparima College - St. Mary’s College @ Lewis Street
Carapichaima East Secondary – BYE