LIME/St Catherine FA season kicks off today
THE 2011/2012 LIME/St Catherine Football Association Major League and Division One competitions will kick off today at the Spanish Town Prison Oval starting at 2:00 pm.
This was announced at the launch of the new season at Cuddyz in New Kingston yesterday.
In the first game of the double-header, last season's Portmore champions Watson Grove will take on Central winners Old Harbour Bay, while in the feature match at 4:00 pm, last season's Division One winners Fraszier's Whip will renew their rivalry with last season's beaten finalist Police FC.
Eleven teams will contest the Major League competition, while 10 teams will participate in the Division One league.
Both competitions will be played on a round-robin basis, with games home and away.
The top two teams at the end of the first round of games, in each competition, will contest a mid-season final, while the top four teams at the end of the preliminary round, in each competition, will advance to the semi-finals.
However, both leagues will take a break to accommodate the 'Happy' Sutherland Knockout competition which begins in November.
LIME, title sponsor in its second year of a $15-million three-year sponsorship deal, expressed through the company's head of marketing Stephen Price, a total satisfaction with their partnership with the St Catherine FA last season.
"Last year, we signed an agreement with St Catherine Football Association towards the development of the sport in the parish. At that time we set certain objectives.... but we did not realise how much this partnership would exceed our expectations and the tremendous impact the St Catherine football leagues would have had on us as a company," he stated.
"And today I proudly say that the first year of our involvement with St Catherine football was resoundingly successful... And this year we feel very encouraged that an even greater season awaits," he added.
Meanwhile, local football boss Captain Horace Burrell was full of praise for the sponsors and he encouraged other companies to emulate the mobile company's example.
"One of the difficulties faced by football development, and sports in general, is the ability to garner sponsorship. And you (LIME) coming on board to support the St Catherine FA with this kind of sponsorship, is highly appreciated, as without sponsorship it is very difficult to improve the sport," he said.
The Jamaica Football Federation boss also added that the Peter Reid-led St Catherine FA was so organised and professional in carrying out its duties that the LIME and the JFF were very pleased.
"By your example I am sure that other companies will be looking at other parish associations, with a view to support it," Captain Burrell stated.
St Catherine FA's president Reid said the association made a lot of strides in the last season and it intends on continuing to improve the standard of the game in the parish.
"We tell everyone, the clubs, the officials, spectators and administrators, to continue in the professional way that we have asked them to perform... and that means just doing the simple things correctly all the time," he said.
The association also took time to honour former president, Lincoln 'Happy' Sutherland, after whom the knockout is named.
Members of the St Catherine Under-13 team that won the national competition recently were acknowledged by Price, as were five outstanding young players in Neco Brett, Kemar Forrester, Kemar Beckford, Cordel Benbow and Olanzo Brown for their achievements last season.