Barbados Cup at Stadium
Eight new teams will make their Barbados Cup debut during the 25th anniversary tournament that starts at 4 p.m on Sunday at the National Stadium.
The football competition will begin with the parade of teams, followed by exhibition matches between local teams and the visiting English and Trinidadian sides.
However, the feature attraction will be the clash between a Tobago women’s side against a Barbados Cup women’s team.
The eight new teams include three visiting teams – the Tobago Secondary School Girls’ team, the Parkside school team from England and the Savannah FA from Trinidad.
The five new local teams are Ball Masters Football Academy from Trents, St James; Warleigh from St Peter, which is coached by Nevada Philips; Vauxhall FC from Christ Church, coached by Junior Harris; Benfica, which will compete in the Under-17 division; and Pine/Wildey Academy, playing in the Under-19 age group.
Overall, 70 teams are expected to participate in this year’s tournament with overseas teams expected from Tobago, St Vincent, Dominica, England, St Lucia and Trinidad.
The actual competition begins on Monday at 8:30 a.m. with the Under-13 age group playing at Banks; the Under-15 at Meadow Road and the Under-17s and Under-19s at the Police Sports Complex and Harrison College, respectively. The women’s section will be played at Dover from 6 p.m each day.
The finals in all age groups will he held on Good Friday, April 6, from 8:30 a.m, at the National Stadium.
The best teams on parade will receive footballs donated by Chelsea Football Club. The balls will be brought to Barbados by the Parkside School of England, which is participating in the Under-13 division and favoured to capture the title in that age group.
Ian Stamp, head of the Parkside delegation, said the school had a very strong football tradition of winning many titles at the county and national level.
Captain Olly Bowen and vice-captain Will Perkins are special players to watch but the team also has outstanding players like Ryan Crema, Adam Holley, Charlie Stamp and Todd Ryan.
Maple Leaf of Trinidad and Tobago, returning for the second straight year, will be favoured to win the Under-15 title since most of their players from last year are still eligible to play in this age group.
Their three outstanding players Derek Poon Tip, Jonathan Riley, who impressed during the AC Milan soccer camp last October, and goalkeeper Jordan Wihby, have all been invited to train with the Trinidad and Tobago national Under-15 squad.
The local women will face a stern test from Tobago Secondary School Girls’ team, which features players who have represented Trinidad and Tobago at the international level.
They will be led by Tisanne Leander, the twin-island republic’s national Under-17 striker and top goal scorer in their Schools League.
Other outstanding players include midfielder Shaliza James, national Under-20 defender Andrea Frasier and former Under-15 national selectees, Krystal Taylor and Karrisa Simon, both forwards. (PR/EZS)