Ballaz International Academy, Norbrook Strikers FC and Mount Pleasant Football Academy were all winners at the inaugural Genesis Academy Spring Football Tournament held recently at the Manchester High School.
The tournament, which featured teams from the parishes of Manchester, St Elizabeth, St Ann, St James and Kingston, had 20 participating teams in three age groups, including Under-8, Under-11 and Under-14.
Ballaz International Academy were crowned Under-8 champions, Norbrook Striker were crowned Under-11 champions while Mount Pleasant Football Academy were champions of the Under-14’s.
There were four organisations from Kingston — Ballaz, Emanuel Christian Academy, Norbrook Strikers and the all-female academy, Reinas Academy, Mount Pleasant from St Ann, Cornwall College from St James, Munro College from St Elizabeth, Belair PREP, Kick Start Academy, Redemption SC, May Day High, Manchester High, and Genesis Academy, the hosts, from Manchester.
There were 20 teams in total that participated in the tournament — four in the Under-8 and eight each in the Under-11 and Under -14.
Reinas had a good start to their tournament, clipping Genesis 1-0 courtesy of their player of the tournament Olivia Ashbourne. There were no further wins for the girls however, as they went down 0-4 to Munro, 0-1 to May Day, 1-4 to STATHS and 0-1 to Manchester High.
Tournament organiser and former national youth Coach Andrew Edwards said that his organisation saw it necessary to play their part in returning the sport to the parish of Manchester, at the youth level.
“The Spring Tournament came about after we decided we needed some impetus after the restart, following the hiatus brought on by the pandemic. We were hoping for a perfect eight across the board for all age groups, but we fell short in numbers in the Under-8 category.”
He has been listening to the feedback from the participating teams and the spectators who showed up at Manchester High.
“In general, the feedback has been very positive, we kept hearing that the tournament was well organised and executed. The main areas for improvement noted thus far are refereeing quality and time management.”
While their original tournament will not be held this year, the Spring Cup will remain on the Genesis calendar going forward Edwards revealed.
“We will not have a summer tournament for 2022, but our flagship Genesis Cup. will return in 2023. Absolutely the Spring Tournament will be made an annual calendar event.”
The first Genesis Cup was held in the summer of 2017 and was last held in 2019.
— Dwayne Richards