The Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) launched its 2016 Under-13 and Under-15 football competitions at a press conference at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) in Kingston on Thursday, August 4th. The tournament will be partly sponsored by the JPS, the Port Authority and Sagicor for a total of $1,000,000 and will be called the JPS Pay-As-You-Go/KSAFA Under-13 & Under-15 competitions.
The competition in both categories will be conducted in four zones and expected to run for seven to eight weeks and scheduled to begin on Tuesday, August 9th with a game to be played in each age group category. It should be noted that girls when capable can be included in either category to play along with the boys.
Title sponsors JPS, through the company’s marketing head Tishan Lee, explained why her company found it fitting to be part of this age-group developmental programme. This ultimately resulted in Gillingham winning third place, outscoring us on penalties by 5-3; HVFC finished the tournament in fourth.
“We are really pleased to come on board as title sponsor of these youth football tournaments. Not just because they feature talented young players, who are exciting to watch, but because these games serve to foster youth and community development, which is a huge part of what we at the JPS and the JPS Foundation are about.” Each participating club received a cheque for $10,000 after the press launch to assist their preparation with an acceptable playing surface to conduct their home games.
Each of the 34 clubs affiliated to KSAFA is expected to provide leadership to at least 30 players at each age group level and these players are also expected to be exposed and schooled in the basic skills of football. Mentorship through their club leadership in civic matters is also required, the KSAFA president, Ambassador AB Stewart Stephenson recommended.
During the competition period,“these players”, he emphasised, “are expected to use the occasion to be groomed in a healthy and disciplined environment”. Competition is stratified to be played in four zonal areas as a means to economise on travelling expenses. There will be no quarter-final matches. The four zone winners will go straight into the semi-final stage of the competition and then the final.
Games in each category will be played on a full-sized field with size five balls, as will the Under-13s. However, while the Under-13s will play over 60 minutes with 30-minute halves, the Under-15s will play over 70 minutes with 35-minute halves. Playing gear will be provided for teams that reach the semi-final stages of these tournaments.
Opening Game Recaps
A good start from both Under 13 and Under 15 teams, as they defeated Tivoli Gardens FC by 7-0 and 3-0 respectively in a double-header to kickoff the KSAFA Competitions.
The U13’s led with a free-kick from Delroy ‘Tardo’ Jones that screamed pass the goalkeeper from 27 yards. Attacker, Dujaan Richards crossed from the left for Kevaughn ‘Saka’ Wilson to convert, 2-0.
Keastner Sturridge’s strike from a dead ball some 30 yards out was unstoppable, despite the goalkeeper and two defenders best efforts on the line, it found it way home 3-0 at halftime.
Captain, Rojaughn ‘Roro’ Joseph and midfielder, Tishawn Cooper both hit the crossbar with stellar attempts to widen the lead.
Another set play was executed perfectly as Delroy Joneses corner was headed home by the second half super-sub, Tyrese ‘Engine’ Williams, as he entered the game with 17 minutes left. He was fired up and went on the onslaught, scoring in rapid succession four times and clinched the 7-0 victory.
The senior/juniors our Under 15, took to the field confidently and made their presence felt early as the went on the offensive. A right-sided cross was swooped on by the alert Kellijah Morgan at the near post, though the smart custodian delayed the goal with a good stop, Morgan grabbed the rebound to push over the line and finish the job. 1-0.
Forward, Kevar Martin scored a second at the back post from another cross 2-0. However, the second half became much more competitive with Tivoli Gardens midfield trio knitting some delicate passes to own multiple periods of possession, while also now enjoying the wind at their back to come into their element.
Ronaldo Robinson, who missed a first minute tap in made amends with a good run to latch unto a Oquasso Chong through pass, to nail a torrid drive to the back of the net, 3-0.
Ramoye ‘Giggs’ Davis long range free-kick had goal written all over it until the goalkeeper fingertip saved it by deflecting over the pigeon hole at the far post.
Our goalkeeper Ricardo Laing, would have a few chances to exhibit his qualities and he did so in fine form to confront attackers and repel shots in one-on-ones to preserve a clean sheet, 3-0.