The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership is set to kick off on Wednesday, September 11, with record sponsorship of approximately TT$3 million in what is probably the fastest-rising high school football competition in the Caribbean.

For the first time in its history, Trinidad's SSFL will have five sponsors in major sponsor Digicel, Premiership title sponsors First Citizens Bank and Shell Trinidad & Tobago, Intercol title sponsor Coca-Cola, Malta Carib and sponsor/broadcaster SportsMax.

Outside of the major sponsors, the league is also benefitting from a number of other firsts.

President William Wallace stated that "this is the first time that the SSFL is benefitting from the addition of a gear sponsor, with Joma coming on board."

The increased level of sponsorship investment and increased coverage of the SSFL through broadcast on CNC-3 and SportsMax over the last two years has made it more attractive to different organisations around the Caribbean and worldwide.

President Wallace continued: "Of course, the presence of Joma has brought together ALL the the stakeholders, in the schools, the SSFL and the sponsors, which have agreed unanimously, for the first time, on uniformity across all jerseys for all participating schools in the Premiership.

Earlier this year, during the SSFL’s awards ceremony, one of the most famous footballing names out of Trinidad and Tobago, former national and English Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, was named the SSFL's ambassador sponsored by Digicel and SportsMax

The role means Hislop has been going around conducting clinics ahead of the competition’s start this year, as well as visiting schools to give inspirational addresses and serving as a mentor to the student athletes.

“I’m a product of the Secondary School’s Football League (SSFL).  I’ve always been a huge admirer of what it brings and what it offers to young men and women in the Trinidad and Tobago school system,” Hislop had said of his appointment earlier this year.

“I know how big a role it played in my own football development, so I’m more than happy to lend a hand in hopes that it can do the same for some of the others.”

Hislop will be watching keenly on Wednesday as a full slate of games kicks off the season, the big one for him, his alma mater St Mary's College up against last year's champion Naparima.

Shaka, like many in the Caribbean and around the world, will be able to take advantage of the innovative SportsMax App, which will be televising matches. If you are on personal computer, you may also watch your favourite teams at watch.sportsmax.tv.

Watching on the SportsMax app and on its website are additions to the broadcasts that will come from SportsMax, shown on its channel as well as on CNC3 and Ceen.

Olly McIntosh, President & CEO stated "The SSFL Premiership and Intercol now has 5 sponsors investing over TTD3M and a first time ever kit sponsor with uniformed jerseys. Matches are now broadcast on CNC-3 in Trinidad & Tobago and regionally and internationally on SportsMax. This is an incredible achievement by the SSFL over the last 4 seasons when Digicel and SportsMax became sponsors and the sponsorship for the competitions and exposure was much less. Glad all schools are on baord"

Defending champions Naparima College begin their campaign at their Lewis Street home against St Mary’s College, while runners up, Presentation College are away to Trinity College Moka.

In other games, San Juan North Secondary are at home to Pleasantville Secondary, St Benedict’s College take on Trinity East at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, while newcomers Malick Secondary go to Speyside Secondary, East Mucurapo play against Queens Royal College at Fatima and St Augustine Secondary are at home to St Anthony’s College. Carapichaima East Secondary are the team on a bye this week. All games begin at 3:30pm ECT.

 

SSFL Opening round schedule

 

San Juan North Secondary - Pleasantville Secondary @San Juan

St. Benedict’s College - Trinity East @Mannie Ramjohn

Speyside Secondary - Malick Secondary @Speyside

Trinity College Moka - Presentation College @Trinity Moka

East Mucurapo Secondary - Queens Royal College @Fatima

St. Augustine Secondary - St. Anthony’s College @St Augustine

Naparima College - St. Mary’s College @ Lewis Street

Carapichaima East Secondary – BYE

The finals of the ninth season of the Intercol Rugby League 13s Championship will conclude on Saturday, April 20, when the Excelsior Community College Eagles take on the Caribbean Maritime University Spartans at the Mona Bowl in Kingston.

The top-seeded EXED ended the regular season with a record of 7-2-1 while CMU, the third seeds, finished the season with a 5-3-2 record.

EXED’s Head Coach Roy Calvert is not overlooking CMU and is expecting a keen battle in Saturday’s final that kicks off at 4:00 pm (5:00 pm ECT).

“Being in the finals two years in a row shows the strength of our program. That said, it is also amazing to see what CMU has achieved in just their third year,” he said. “My boys are looking forward to a good game on Saturday and our preparations have been geared towards such.”

CMU’s coach Linval Green said he is looking forward to a competitive final.

“It is a joy to see how far both teams have come. This final is more than just winning, it’s about a clash of talents created by a very good competition,” he said.

“I wish both teams best of luck on the day and I am looking forward to a clean, safe and exciting finals.”

In the semi-finals played on April 12, EXED battled to a 12-6 win against the University of the West Indies Pelicans. CMU, meanwhile, comfortably handled defending champions GC Foster Lions 16-0.

 EXED will be led by their top point’s scorers in Javian Bryan (58) and Akeem Murray (32). Meanwhile, CMU will look to the destructive duo of Adrian Thomas (58) and Orlando Messado (54) to lead their charge.

The University of The West Indies and GC Foster College will clash for third-place at 2 pm.  

Brent Sancho reviews the Secondary Schools Football League and the Intercol competitions in 2018.

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) is up in arms over the attack of noted sports journalist, Lasana Liburd.

Liburd, the founder and editor in chief of online magazine, Wired868, and a veteran freelance sports journalist in Trinidad and Tobago, was reportedly attacked during an Intercol football game with other allegations being banded about the reason for the abuse.

According to a letter from MATT, the organization had been made aware of the incident and viewed it as ‘disturbing’.

According to MATT, the incident was sparked by an article Liburd wrote and consequent actions where the journalist, once an executive of the organization, sought the court’s intervention.

“MATT views this situation as unacceptable and unequivocally condemns the attack on any journalist performing their duties,” read the release.

According to MATT, the incident flies in the face of the tenets of Freedom of the Press, something the organization points out, “is enshrined in [the] country’s Constitution.”

The MATT release went on to say there were avenues for persons to seek redress against the media and that physical attacks should never be one of them.

The matter, MATT went on, was made ultimately worse because the incident occurred in view of children.

Matt has lauded Liburd for reporting the matter to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and gave that body a call to action.

“we trust that it will be dealt with expeditiously in order to send a message that such acts will not be tolerated,” the release ended.

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