Sport

Liguanea United win second Guardian Life/KSAFA U-10 football festival

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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As Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) continues its push to bring structured competitive football to the younger age group of players that fall within its association, it successfully staged the second Guardian Life/KSAFA Under-10 football festival at the Football Factory two weekends ago.

Top honours went to Liguanea United, who defeated Norbrook Academy in the final.

Twenty-two teams participated in the event, up from 16 at the first staging which was held in April. The teams were separated into six zones in order to give them as many games as possible in the short space of time. Saturday saw all the teams participating, with the knock-out phase taking place on Sunday.

The individual zone winners were: Zone A — Norbrook Academy, Zone B — Liguanea United, Zone C — Harbour View, Zone D — Phoenix Academy, Zone E — Holy Family and Zone F — Maxfield Park.

After the dust had settled, defending champions Holy Family, Liguanea United, Phoenix Academy and Norbrook Academy emerged as the semi-finalists.

Semi-final one proved to be a repeat of the final in April with Liguanea United turning the tables on Holy Family as they routed them 5-0 in a one-sided contest. Semi-final two was a much more even contest as Norbrook strikers came from behind against Phoenix Academy on three occasions to earn a 3-3 draw at full time, before going on to win 4-3 in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out.

In the final it was all Liguanea United as they overpowered Norbrook Academy to win 2-0. The tournament's leading scorer Geovani Taylor got the opener with a thunderous shot from distance in the first half before Kanye Douglas capped off a fine team move with a classy finish to end the game as a contest in the second half.

Taylor ended the tournament with nine goals, while his teammate Kai Myles was named Most Valuable Player. There were a total of 104 goals scored over the two days.

Winning coach Orlando Clarke said that he lost out to Holy Family because of a weakened team in April, but they were better prepared this time around.

“In April they (Holy Family) beat us in the final, but we weren't at our full strength so I knew this time around we were strong and they lost one of their better players, so it wasn't a problem for us.”

He also credits team chemistry for the success at the tournament.

“This team has been playing together from they were eight years old, so the chemistry is there, so you could see from how they played that they know each other. I am happy that it is our time now.”

For Fitzroy Brown, unit manager at Guardian Life, the investment in the festival was well worth it.

“Guardian is pleased to be involved in this competition. This is where it starts and what we would like to see is more corporations getting involved in youth football. We are very pleased to see the type of football that has been played, including the technical aspects of the football. If more people get involved I think down the road Jamaican football will move in the right direction,” he said.

KSAFA President Wayne Shaw was more than happy with the second staging of the event.

“We are pleased that we had an increase in the number of participating teams for the second staging. What I loved about the competition was the technical ability of the players and their tactical awareness, getting into positions, you can see that they are being coached,” he said.

He singled out the tournament winners as the stand-out team of the competition.

“After watching the first two matches that Liguanea United played I declared them the winners. I thought Phoenix would have been in the final and then Norbrook and Harbour View, but overall I am very pleased. It is not just that they are coming and kicking the ball, they are following the instructions of the coaches, so I am pleased with that and the overall competition, it was two good days. I want to say thanks to Guardian Life for their support and I am looking forward to the third one in December.”

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