THE Youth Football League competition, called The Junior Cup, will begin this Saturday, October 1, 2022 at the Constant Spring Football Field.
The Junior Cup is a 7 vs 7 tournament in which all participating players must be 11 years old or younger. It is an invitational tournament for primary and preparatory schools across Jamaica.
The competition will be played in two regions by schools in Kingston and St Andrew and also rural schools. The schools in the rural area will play in Montego Bay.
The participating teams comprise prep and primary school children who are enrolled in school during the current school year. Each team will be led by a coach or manager who has been appointed by the school's principal.
Each team must register a minimum of 10 players and maximum 14 players for the tournament.
The teams playing in the Kingston region were put into zones on Wednesday after the draw was completed.
Each team will play every team in their zone once. The top two teams from each zone will advance to the knockout quarter-final stage. The winners of the quarter-finals will advance to the semi-finals. The losers of the semi-finals will play for third place while the winners of the semi-finals will contest the regional final.
The winners of each region will play each other in a national championship. The runners-up in the regional final will also play each other to determine the third-place team.
The games will last 30 minutes, with two halves lasting 15 minutes each. There will be a five-minute half-time break.
Sean Williams of FYI Consultancy Group said it was important to create a platform for this particular age group to showcase their talent.
"We are excited, the teams are excited, and this weekend we start at the Constant Spring field. We are honoured to have the chance to showcase our young talent.
"We have to have our young ballers playing a lot, and this age group is sometimes neglected and so we are grateful that we can start this Junior Cup. They can play a lot of games, grow and develop, and harness their skills," he said.
Williams believes that lives will be positively impacted by the staging of this competition.
"Football is beyond skill — it is development, it is life skills, it is interaction, it is building communities — and so we have to have our young people playing again. Football is life — it affords change, it releases stress, and it gives us an opportunity to impact lives and develop character," he noted.
Zone 1 — St Patrick’s Primary, Morant Bay Primary, St John the Baptist Prep, Rousseau Primary Castleton Primary and Spanish Town Primary
Zone 2 — Sts Peter & Paul Preparatory, St Francis Primary, Clan Carty Primary, Mannings Hill Primary Ardenne Preparatory and Belair Preparatory
Zone 3 — St Hugh’s Preparatory, Hillel Academy, Hope Valley Experimental Primary, Vaz Preparatory, Glowel Preparatory and Duhaney Park Primary.
Zone 4 — Pembroke Hall Primary, McAauley’s Primary, Tarrant Primary, Edward Seaga Primary Emmanuel Christian Academy and Winward Road Primary