Managing Director of the National Milling Company of Guyana (NAMILCO) Mr. Bert Sukhai yesterday presented cheques valued at $150,000 to each of the nine (9) participating associations in the NAMILCO/GFF Flour Power National U-17 League. Yesterday’s cheque represents the first half of a two part payment that will assist each association with the administration of the tournament in relation to referees fees and other commitments.
The governing body also received a cheque from the title sponsor of the tournament; Mr. Sukhai disclosing that the overall cost for the five-year deal with the GFF is in the vicinity of 35 million dollars which caters for inflation during the said period, an investment that is worth the while, he posited. Sukhai noted that it was the company’s pleasure to develop the game at the junior level, noting that players from this competition will eventually form the core at the national level. Prior to inking this deal, NAMILCO, for eight years was the sponsor of the One Love Inter Club KO tournament which involved teams from various associations but now the focus has shifted to youth development.
“The objective of having a league is worth the investment that we are making and I’m sure the company will also benefit from the sort of publicity that you guys would be giving us over time. We thought it was a good investment that we have gone into and we’re hoping that the various teams are playing not only for themselves but they are playing for the football federation, for the country and for NAMILCO.” The Managing Director also noted that he is expecting well run tournaments in the various associations that will in due course, redound to moving the game to another level.
GFF President Wayne Forde, in thanking Mr. Sukhai and NAMILCO for partnering with the federation to build a solid foundation for the sport, reminded that the company has been a faithful investor in the sport even in tough times over the years which underscore the fact that they are a committed and responsible corporate partner. Forde noted that this level of development has been lacking for many years at the national level and while the players will be ambassadors for the sponsor and federation, so too will be the administrators of the tournament.
“I want to implore the administrators of the tournament to do everything within their power to ensure that fair play prevails, that the rules are followed, we don’t have players that are outside of the age category, these are the kinds of things that can bring negative press to a very, very good idea.” The GFF boss noted that the reason for the five-year deal is to ensure that if his executive is not re-elected, the new body will not have to run around to get sponsorship but will have at least one year to sort themselves out noting that the political turmoil within the fraternity can be very disruptive to the actual playing of football. Every deal that the GFF signs he said, would be similar to NAMILCO.
“We have strong commitments for the Under-15, we’re going to see that in a matter of weeks, exceptionally strong commitments for Under-13 grassroots and exceptional strong commitment for Under-19 and we’re going to be following the exact model. We are securing sponsorship for all nine (9) associations, so you guys are going to be relieved of the burden that you have been carrying over the years where you have to go out and fish.” With this move by the federation, Forde noted that he would still like to see associations using initiative and filling gaps. Selected players from the Under-17 will be further exposed under the guidance of specially trained Youth Development Officers twice weekly at various Academy Training Centers.
“They are going to be exposed to consistent technical and tactical training, so my thought process tells me that at the end of the four-year cycle for my executive we’re going to have the most diverse and the most technically and tactically sound national team.”
Apart from the cash received, each association was presented with a pair of goal nets, a set of balls and jersey’s.
Source: KNEWS by Franklin Wilson