Football fever in the north
The inaugural Super League Soccer tournament is all set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. on September 29 at the Speightstown, St Peter playing field with three matches.
Thirty-two teams from across the island will be participating at locations in Speightstown, Boscobelle and Orange Hill in a competition that organisers say they expect will raise the standard of soccer in the north of the Island.
Among the teams taking part in the tournament will be Boscobelle Gully Hill, Black Bless, Norman Forde 2000, The Gladiators of Mile and a Quarter, Indian Ground, Road View, Youth Milan, Checker Hall, Belleplaine, Basil Harewood team, Speightstown Warriors, Barbados Soccer Academy, Porey Spring, Six Mens, Gaza United, Street Vibes, De Hill, De-Team, Bajan Pride, St Joseph Combined, Street Vybz, Bajan Elite, Ban Kok Elite, Pelican, St Joseph Hilltop, Vegas, Zone United, Hillaby, Belfield, Red Beard, Tony Eleven, Orange Hill and Ellerton.
Monetary incentives will include a first prize of $8,000; a $3,000 second prize; $2,000 to the third placed finisher; and $1,000 to the fourth placed team.
Jabez ‘Jack’ Bovell, director of the Super League and a former president of the St Peter League, said there would be an additional prize of $1,000 for the best placed St Peter-based team.
“Major League Soccer and college coaches are expected to attend to scout for talent during the period of the competition. The competition will be designed similar to the FIFA World Cup, where there will be zones of teams and the top sixteen teams will qualify to the first round of the knockout stage, followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship match,” he said.
Bovell also stated that he would be seeking to have the winners of the Super League play against the winners of the David Thompson Memorial Competition. He added there was also a possibility that the 18 best Super League Soccer players would be chosen as a team to travel to Trinidad and Tobago to compete against a select Trinidadian team at the Hasley Crawford Stadium.
He also revealed that plans were moving ahead to send a number of under-23 players to MLS clubs in the United States for trials.
Bovell, who is director of the Barbados Soccer Academy, said he had made contact with Red Bulls Major League Soccer Club of New York and they were keen on hosting a camp in Barbados. The Barbados Soccer Academy has already secured more than 20 scholarships at universities in the United States over the last ten years.