NAMILCO Thunderbolt U17 leagues setting the foundation for long term success

The historical GFF/NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power National Under-17 Intra Association league is definitely setting the stage for Guyana’s success and hopeful dominance of the sport at the Caribbean level and further afield in a few short years to come, once managed efficiently. This league which has been supported for the next five-years by the National Milling Company of Guyana under its marquee brand, Thunderbolt Flour is historic in nature, the first for any tournament being played in all the associations affiliated to the Guyana Football Federation.

For a tournament and any competition for that matter to take on such significance and be perched in the top of the finances of any company is worth complimenting to say the least. Just a few companies in Guyana can be placed in such a bracket and without reservation, DIGICEL will hold down its place there for the School’s championship they have been investing in over the past six years. This tournament has come at a time when most of the associations have been finding it difficult to attract sponsorship to ensure that the young players at this crucial age are consistently playing. Just a few have been consistently playing junior tournaments so the advent of the NAMILCO leagues which will support the DIGICEL School’s Championship is welcome.

Deriving the required benefits in terms of seeing the holistic development of players in the technical and tactical rudiments of the sport is therefore critical. This is where the administration of the associations needs to get serious. This is where the coaches attached to the various teams need to become serious as well as the GFF’s scouts. The respective stakeholders need to place a high premium on the way these leagues are managed in order for all to get the maximum benefits.

The Referees also need to take their officiating in the matches seriously. They would be tested to the hilt even in finding officials to do matches if all the associations are playing at the same time on weekends. It is also an opportunity for the senior Referees to be present in guiding the younger officials in order for them to become the best they can be while ensuring that the players are playing within the confines of the Laws of the game.

Parents/Guardians, fans and all must also see these leagues as playing a vital part in the development of our players whose dreams would be to one day represent their country.  Some of the associations have been finding it difficult over the past two months to have grounds that they have access to be in an acceptable playable condition owing to consistent rainfall. We all know that associations are not wealthy entities and depend on the custodians of these grounds in order to play and have our young people active in a meaningful way.

There is need for the various NDC’s and RDC’s to understand their role (s) in ensuring that grounds in their respective areas should be kept in a playing condition for use by the youths of those areas. The National Sports Commission and its officers through the Ministry of Sports must lend whatever support from a political standpoint to the various associations to ensure access to these grounds are unhindered.

Sponsors, and in this instance NAMILCO would be very pleased that all and sundry are playing their part in ensuring that the youths are not denied opportunities to showcase their talent by having unhindered access to grounds in the associations where matches are being played.

The associations are Rupununi, Bartica, Essequibo, West Demerara, Upper Demerara, Berbice, East Demerara, East Bank and Georgetown.

Source: K/NEWS by Franklin Wilson