MONTEGO BAY, St James — Friday night football double-headers will return to Montego Bay starting tomorrow when the St James Football Associations Sandals/ATL Senior League kicks off at Jarrett Park.
After a long break since the era of colourful St James FA president Wesmore Thomas, football fans will be treated to what present FA boss Gregory Daley hopes will be "attractive football at the home of Montego Bay's football," in the double -headers.
During Thomas' tenure in the 1980's, double and triple -headers were a feature of St James football and recently at least two other Football Association's have staged Friday night double- headers.
At Tuesday's launch of the 2012-13 competition at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Daley announced that the league that will see 12 teams-- six in each two zones--will have double -headers at Jarrett Park on Fridays.
Tomorrow evening promoted Division One champions Reggae Youths and last year's beaten Senior League finalists Little Miami will meet in the first game set to start at 4:00pm after the opening ceremony, while North Gully Ambassadors and Fogo United will meet in the second game.
"We want to bring back the vibes we once had in the game in St James," Daley told Observer West after the launch, "the fans have been asking for games at Jarrett Park and we thought the Friday night double- headers will be that vehicle that will get things back to where we want it, and we can only hope for attractive football."
The format will see the teams playing home and away against each other then a cross zone round before the top two teams from each zone qualifying for the semi-finals.
The semi-finals and finals will be home and away games as well, Daley said.
Zone A will have Fogo United who were demoted from the Western Confederation Super League last season, North Gully Ambassadors, Melbourne United, Violet Kickers, Granville City and Salt Spring United.
Little Miami , losers of the finals the last two seasons, will head Zone B that will also see Montego Bay Boys Club, Revelations, Rose Mount, Reggae Youths and Montego Bay United's Under 21 team.
Dennis Waite, Sandals' Regional Information Systems manager who spoke on behalf of the sponsors, said his company has been away from the game for too long "but it is good to be back."
Waite said he hoped their investment of over $2 million in the competition this year would serve as "a spring board to launch St James football back to the pinnacle of Jamaica's football."
He charged the players to be on their best behaviour as they were now "ambassadors of the Sandals brand."
Sandals who had earlier sponsored the St James FA Division One returned to football sponsorship two years ago with the St James Under 17 and Under 20 leagues in the summer.
Meanwhile, the Cornwall College Under 16 team that swept all three ISSA competitions after winning the St James FA Sandals Under 17 title in August was feted by the hotel.
Cornwall won the Galloway Cup, Clement Ratcliff Cup for all-rural Under 16 before beating Corporate Area champions Wolmers Boys 7-0 for the all-island crown.