North boys prove point
St James North have proven their point. After coming close in consecutive years they finally triumphed in this year’s National Sports Council’s/Youth Development Programme Community Under-17 Football Tournament.
St James North defeated Christ Church East Central 5-4 on penalties after the scores were locked 2-2 at the end of regulation and extra time in Sunday’s final at the Briar Hall Playing Field.
“The boys had something to prove. The first year, we came, but went out in the semi-finals when we shouldn’t have lost. The second year, we were unlucky with some refereeing decisions, which went against us,” coach Llewellyn Broomes told MIDWEEK NATION after the game.
He said after their unfortunate elimination they were even more determined to succeed.
“We came here this season to take the cup. When I went to sign the contract to coach the team, I told them, the trophy and trip [to Trinidad and Tobago at Easter] belong to me.”
Broomes said St James North, who played unbeaten in the tournament, triumphed despite losing most of their senior players, who were past the age limit.
“My better players went out, but this year I got a better goalkeeper [Sharad McAllister], which was a plus. He was the biggest aspect for the team reaching this far. My midfielder [Romario Drakes is] very great. He deserves to be in the national team,” said Broomes, a former Barbados Under-23 and Youth Milan defender, who also represented Fire House.
“I don’t feel that my team was the best team to win the whole tournament, but my guys had the heart and the will power to fight together,” he said.
Captain Ronaldo Bowen said finally winning the title was a good feeling as he won’t be eligible to play next year because of his age.
“I was trying at it for three years now, so it feels good in my last year to finally win it and I feel proud of my teammates as they worked hard as the training was intense,” said the Upper Rock Dundo teenager.
“We trained three days a week. Two days we would mostly do physicals and then the next day was ball work. I’m glad the hard work paid off.”
He said he didn’t feel they would lose despite trailing 2-0 early in the second half.
“After the first goal, my head was down, but I gathered my troops and told them to lift their heads that we still had a chance as it wasn’t the first time we were down.
“After that, I said we were coming downhill now [in the second half], so we could at least get three goals, because we did it in the semi-finals.”
As part of their prize, the new champions will be rewarded with a tour to Trinidad and Tobago where they will play two matches against youth teams from the twin-island republic. (EZS)