An expanded version of the Green and Yellow Ali Cole Cup returns Friday with the third staging of the high school preseason schoolboy football competition at Excelsior High School. The two-day tournament was launched at the school at 137 Mountain View Avenue on Thursday.
The competition was first held in 2018 following the sudden passing of Allan Cole Junior, son of Jamaican football legend Allan “Skill” Cole.
Allan Cole Junior captained Excelsior to their last Manning Cup honour in 1989 and after his passing, members of that winning team decided to stage the pre-season schoolboy football tournament in his honour.
In 2018 the tournament featured eight Manning Cup teams and in 2019, featured 10 teams, five from the Manning Cup and five from the DaCosta Cup. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year 12 teams will participate, six from the Manning Cup and six from the DaCosta Cup.
According to Chris Bailey, President of the Green and Yellow Organization, the tournament is set to redound to the benefit of all the participating schools.
“The tournament provides a great pre-season soccer atmosphere, one in which all the participants including the players and coaches will get the opportunity to showcase their soccer abilities.”
All the teams will receive equipment for participating in the competition this year. The first game of the day starts at 8:30am with hosts Excelsior High taking on Cornwall College.
Bailey, who scored the winning goal for Excelsior in the 1989 Manning Cup final, believes that this tournament will be of great benefit to the players from all 12 participating schools.
“Every player participating in the Ali Cup will get the opportunity to work on their individual game as well as work with their teammates in a competitive environment as well as have the opportunity to win an individual award such as, the Most Valuable Player (MVP), Golden Boot and Best Goalkeeper. There will also be an award for the Most Disciplined Team,” he disclosed.
Excelsior High won the first tournament in 2018 and successfully defended the title in 2019. They will have their hands full this year as they do their best to make it three from three.
Meanwhile, CEO of the Green and Yellow Organization, Carlton Hammond praised the Excelsior High principal Deanroy Bromfield for the support that he has given to facilitate the competition each year.
The other participating schools this year who are hoping to get their first lien on the trophy, from the Manning Cup are, Camperdown, St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), Dunoon Technical, Charlie Smith and Tivoli High. The teams from the DaCosta Cup are, Cornwall College, Clarendon College, Glenmuir High, Dinthill Technical, Manchester High and Rusea’s High.
– Dwayne Richards