Classic kicking off
UNEARTHING new soccer stars!
That could be the case as the spotlight will fall on Barbados’ lesser-known footballers when the inaugural David Thompson Memorial Classic kicks off tonight at the Gall Hill Sports Complex in St John.
With the majority of the island’s best players already participating in the stipulated two out-of-season tournaments, several footballers from the lower divisions have been recruited to represent their constituencies.
The $300 000-plus tournament, which is being coordinated by long-serving Member of Parliament Hamilton Lashley, will get under way with a clash between St Michael North and Christ Church East at 6:30 p.m.
This will be followed by the feature match between St Michael South-East and St John at 8:30 p.m.
The nucleus of the Christ Church East team comes from former Premier League outfit Silver Sands, with the likes of Jamar “Rocker” Harewood, Myron Wilkinson, Darren Layne, Corey Nurse, Kenroy Weekes and diminutive goalkeeper Gabriel Layne.
But St Michael North have also assembled a fairly good side, with players the calibre of goalkeeper Tazeio Riley, strikers Andre Pinder, Ishmael Primus and attacking midfielder Julian “Lil Ju” Gill, left-winger Kerry Forde, Kirk Best and Corey Taitt, and Guyanese-born Mikhail Kwang.
Former BDF striker-cum defender Jason Sealy is the best known player for St Michael East, who will field a number of Pinelands’ lower division footballers.
Former Barbados goalkeeper Bernard Howell will be between the uprights for St John, while young striker Diego Ward, son of coach David Ward, the former Notre Dame and Barbados striker, will lead their attack.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is slated to deliver the feature address during the opening ceremony and also meet the teams.
Brief speeches will be made by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steven Blackett and MP for St John Mara Thompson following the parade of the 30 constituency teams.
There will be an hour-long show and spectacle, highlighted by performances from the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, cultural groups such as Pinelands Creative Workshop, Haynesville Dancers and Drummers, Trident Elite dancers, Dance Nationale Afrique, stilt walkers and shaggy bear characters.
The winning constituency will receive $30 000, with $20 000 going to the losing finalists.
The third and fourth-placed teams will earn $15 000 and $10 000, respectively.