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Call to split Schools League

Kenmore Bynoe

Call to split Schools League

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“Give us?a?level playing field!”
That demand has come from physical education teacher of Alexandra Secondary School, Roger Broomes.
Broome said he believes the time has come for the Barbados Secondary Schools Football League to review its structure and consider placing the sixth form teams in a Division One while allowing the fifth form schools to play each other.
He was speaking minutes after his team, which defied tremendous odds to reach the final, allowed a 1-0 advantage to slip before losing 3-4 on penalty kicks to three-time champions Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP)? in the schools finals at the National Stadium last week.
“There are seven or eight sixth form schools which the Schools League can place in a First Division along with SJPP and the Barbados Community College and possibly the University of the West Indies, thus allowing the fifth form schools to compete on a level playing field against each other.
“I do not want to take anything away from the SJPP who played a better game, but when you consider that their goal scorer in regular time was a former Alexandra student, who left school two years ago – and we also came up against one of our graduates when we played Combermere – one would understand the advantages which the sixth form schools have,” he pointed out.
Broomes, who was a standout hockey player as a student of the Alleyne School before he went on to represent Barbados as a player and then a referee, stressed that while teams like SJPP would have a very strong starting unit and an equally powerful bench, the secondary schools were often limited to starting with a number of juniors and their benches would be totally junior school players.
“Ironically, by the time that most of those juniors start to develop and become better players, they graduate onto a sixth form school or another institution,” he added.
However, the PE teacher was very impressed with the morale-boosting effort of his school in making the finals under very trying times.
“The tremendous turnout of the students and the principal Jeff Broomes and their support showed that making the finals in itself was a morale boost for us.
“We wanted to take the title as that would have boosted us even more but after our key midfielder, Stephon Hinds, went off with an injury in the second half, we could not hold SJPP at bay.
“It was unfortunate that such a good game had to be decided on a lottery with penalty kicks but SJPP deserved the victory.”
It was SJPP’s third League title at this level.