Youth Cup football kicks off with Kingston leg
PINNOCK...we are absolutely committed to grass-roots football and we appreciate what it means for the kids. (Photo: Observer file)

The second staging of the highly anticipated Junior Youth Cup Under-11 football competition is scheduled to kick off at The University of the West Indies Mona Bowl with action in the Kingston leg this morning at 8:00.

Twelve teams, comprising preparatory and primary schools from the Corporate Area, are to participate in the one-day tournament.

Emmanuel Christian Academy are the defending champions of the tournament.

The top four teams at the end of the tournament will move onto the regional play-offs of the championships.

Paula Pinnock, managing director of FYI Consultancy Group, which conceptualised the tournament, said that they are looking forward to an exciting championship.

"We are excited and we are absolutely committed to grass-roots football and we appreciate what it means for the kids that see themselves becoming the next thing in football, and so we will continue to do it as long as we have the interest of the kids that want to participate," said Pinnock.

She added that there will be a number of female coaches as well as female referees who will be officiating this year's tournament.

"We have two female coaches this year and we have had female coaches in the past, because last year Vaz Prep entered the tournament with a female coach. However, what we are excited to hear is that we have some more female referees that will be participating in the tournament.

"We can't have football without referees, and so that is important to us, that we are also giving additional exposure and experience to referees in this country," Pinnock said.

The tournament will be held in Mandeville for the first time this year as well as in Montego Bay, with the top four teams from each region clashing for the all-island title.

The winning prize money is $200,000. 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 2024; the Under-9 edition is set for March.

Robert Bailey

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