Emmanuel retains title as Junior Cup showcases abundant talent
Dominic Crockshan (left) of Emmanuel Christian Academy challenges Sts Peter and Paul;s Matthieu Miller during the final of the Kingston leg of the Junior Cup football tournament at the Mona Bowl in St Andrew on Saturday, September 30. (Photo: Contributed)

FYI Consultancy Group Managing Director and Junior Cup organiser Paula Pinnock says she is elated with the level of talent that was on display during the Kingston leg of the Under-11 football tournament, which ended at Mona Bowl on Saturday.

At the end of 23 matches during the one-day competition, defending champions Emmanuel Christian Academy (ECA) retained their title with a 2-1 victory over Sts Peter and Paul in the final.

Pinnock is impressed with the skill of the children as the matches were closely contested and because of the support from the parents.

"It was a comprehensive tournament because the defending champions definitely had to work for that win, and all the teams that went up against them were very unfortunate to have lost," Pinnock said. "Spanish Town Primary is an extremely formidable team filled with very promising kids because they went out in a penalty shoot-out [in the semi-finals] and, of course, Sts Peter and Paul scored two own goals in the final.

"I was very impressed with the talent on display because our end goal is to get scouts coming to these matches, and to see these kids, and to see the talents that we have to offer.

"We had a visitor here from Canada who has a son that plays in tournaments over there in Canada, and he was very impressed with the skill level of the kids and the determination that they showed out there on the field of play."

ECA, Sts Peter and Paul, Spanish Town, and Rousseau Primary will now advance to the all-island final.

The tournament will now move to Montego Bay where the western teams will be on show.

Pinnock says she is looking forward to seeing what the teams have to offer.

"We played 23 games in one day, which is not a small feat, and we are very excited to move on to see what the talents looks like in Manchester and Montego Bay," she said.

"We will be in Montego Bay this weekend and we are very excited because we want to see the kids come out, and know that we are still growing, and we are still getting the names of the Youth Football League and Junior Cup out there, and there is only upward movement from here on."

The prize money is $200,000, and a new concept will be introduced to award the top two coaches $25,000 each.

In addition, there will be an Under-12 and Under-13 tournament in January while the Under-9 edition is set for March.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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