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National Football Club Championships to kick off soon

National Football Club Championships to kick off soon

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The proposed National Football Club Championships, a microcosm of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Strategic Plan, will kick off Saturday, September 5, at the Arnos Vale One Playing Field.{{more}}

The Championships, which will feature a Premier Division, First Division, Under-17 and Women’s Divisions, should get started sometime next month.

However, President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Joseph Delves told SEARCHLIGHT in an interview recently that the Premier and First Divisions will be the first to begin, with the other two divisions phased in.

He said that his Executive was busily putting things in place for the Championships in order to minimize hiccups.

Following some consultations last year among the SVGFF‘s Executive, clubs, leagues and other stakeholders of football, it was decided that the National Club Championships were the best option, thereby creating an “Elite Club System”.

“When you have strong clubs, you have a strong national team,” Delves said.

“Also, that is why the top players need to have the best surfaces,” he continued.

The proposed venues for the Premier Division are the Victoria Park and the Arnos Vale One Playing Field.

Likewise, Sion Hill, Arnos Vale Two and Campden Park are earmarked for the other divisions.

Delves stated that through discussions with the clubs, some middle ground was reached.

“We will still allow the clubs to play in their respective leagues, but the one player, one club ruling still holds,” Delves advised.

He said that while this is so, no exception will be given to anyone wanting to deviate from the ruling.

In addition, the players are to have proper SVGFF identification tags, as well as a database of players, so as to better police the championships.

The Football President explained that all aspects, refereeing, including referees assessment, medicals, also match commissioners, will be put in place to train the local players to adopt to international standards.

He stated that the overall aim is to have St. Vincent and the Grenadines represented at the CONCACAF Club Championships level in the future.

Delves disclosed that already locked down is a commitment from the National Lotteries Authority to put in a sizeable chunk of the cost of running the Championships.

“They will be our gold sponsor,” Delves added.

The overall cost of staging the championships has been estimated in the vicinity of $184 000.

And, as a way of assisting the clubs through the transition, Delves re- affirmed that the Executive proposes to give them some financial help.

The football head also said that some collapsible lights have been sourced and will be mounted on some grounds to give clubs extended practice time at nights.

Delves said that part of the build up for the women’s component, a pre-season competition, inclusive of a seven–a-side and full-fledged eleven-a-side, will be staged, as they seek to generate more interest – a relatively new environment for the ladies.

Making the Premiership from the play-offs staged earlier this year are Hope International, System 3, Predators, United Force, Je Belle FC, Avenues United, Stingers FC, Chelsea, Cane End, Prospect, Zodiac and Jugglers.

The First Division stacks, Brighton All Stars, BESCO Pastures, Greiggs, Connection, Munich FC, Parkside Rollers, Rocksdale, Richland Park Pride and Joy, K and R Strikers, Brownstown Most Wanted and Gabba Boys.

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