ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (March 8, 2016) – Without a doubt, winning is important. Just ask any
player or coach of the 17 clubs representing 50 teams contesting the second annual Gomez/Netherlands
Insurance Youth Football League. But so too is participation and development, and the latter was
obvious on Saturday when nationally celebrated coach Urvin Lewis was vocal with his assistance and
support during a match. Thing is, the Soccer Academy principal didn’t have any skin in the game. The
match was an U-13 encounter between Generation Next and Sap, but Lewis, who has served as a
national goalkeeper coach, knows that clubs aside, everyone ought to be on the same team.
“That’s how we do it,” Lewis said, when asked about his perennial support for and
encouragement of all of the players.
It’s not an uncommon sight to see that kind of camaraderie on the sidelines, and it’s one of the
important aspects of the youth league, which is built on the principles of enjoyment, development and
participation.
In results on Saturday, Swalings had a good run, winning four out of five matches. The U-7 team
beat Willikies 3-1 on the strength of a hattrick by Tayquan Harris and also picked up the full three points
over Pares. The U-9 team defeated Willikies 4-1, while the U-11 were giant killers on the day, defeating
defending champions Villa Lions 3-0, thanks to a hattrick by Zadok Christian .The U-16 squad paid for the
U-11 upset, going down to Villa Lions 3-1.
With all teams facing mixed results so far, losing isn’t a lonely space, but for Villa, defending
champions in all five divisions who romped to victory unbeaten last season, it’s an unfamiliar place. As
noted earlier, they lost to Swalings in U-11 and played to a nil-all stalemate with GNCA-1 in U-9.
In terms of the standings, newcomers Northern Patriots, which has as a principal CFU president
Gordon Derrick, heads the U-7 with 18 points, two ahead of GNFC-A. GNFC-A lead U-9 with 15 points,
ahead of Villa Lions on 13. GNFC-A (16) have a three-point lead in U-11 with Villa Lions in second place.
Debutants New Generation (16) share the same amount of points with second-placed Sap in U-13 but
enjoy a better goal differential, and Villa Lions (15) are also tied in points with Pares, but have scored
twice as many goals.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
U-7
Pares 0-2 Swalings
GNFC-1 2-0 Young Warriors
GNCF-A 2-1 Old Road
Villa Lions 3-0 Grays-Green
Willikies 1-3 Swalings
Pares 0-2 Northern Patriots
U-9
Willikies 0-6 Grays-Green
GNFC-1 0-0 Villa Lions
GNFC-A 3-0 Pares
Pigotts 0-4 Sap
Soccer Academy 2-2 Grays-Green
Willikies 1-4 Swalings
U-11
Northern Patriots 0-11 GNFC-A
GNFC-1 2-2 Willikies
New Generation 6-0 Young Warriors
Villa Lions 0-3 Swalings
Soccer Academy 0-4 GNFC-A
Northern Patriots 0-2 Pigotts
U-13
Willikies 0-2 Swetes
GNFC 0-2 Sap
Villa Lions 2-0 Soccer Academy
Empire 3-4 Pares
Rangers 0-2 Swetes
Willikies 0-4 New Generation
U-16
Pigotts 1-5 Villa Lions
GNFC 2-0 Rangers
Willikies 3-0 Young Warriors
Empire 0-0 Old Road
Swalings 1-3 Villa Lions
Pigotts 0-2 Pare