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November 7, 2018
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November 7, 2018

SSFL play needs to improve

Action in the SSFL 2017 season between Presentation College and St Anthony’s College. Photo Source:

It is no secret that the number of matches played among the teams in the Secondary Schools’ Football League (SSFL) is far too little.

I suppose that this is the best reason that could be offered when the results from matches played are lacking a standard which are expected from the young footballers.

I am convinced that the voices coming from the Ministry of Education will not even consider an adjustment in the competitive playtime in order to have a home and an away format.

While I respect their interest in protecting the periods of time for studies, especially with the start of CXC exams in May, there are numerous USA high schools, whose format bear sufficient time for both studies and football.

Where is the structure to provide the youngsters coping with both forms of education (academic and physical) by adding night study right after school football practices?

It’s no wonder the supporters of secondary school football are hardly giving thought to the development of their team’s performances in football and give more attention to the educational side of their school life.

The commitment to bring out the best in these young men and women at secondary school level is clearly dissimilar in the classroom than the playing field.

My hobby is to observe the standard of our players compared to the quality of players who are often fighting for football scholarships. The results breed numerous candidates for these scholarships, and this vast corridor of international exposure robs our youth football.

A quick glance of the skill and endurance of the SSFL reflect only a moderate level of play.

My impression is that SSFL is built strictly for participation instead of improving the skills and quality of play. A shortage of understanding the techniques and tactics which are mandatory for the future of the game in T&T is evident.

The demand for excellent soccer coaches should be as important a priority as teachers in the classroom. I wish that I could say that the understanding of the core values of the sport have reached coaching sessions, together with the basic skills and team spirit from the very beginning.

Their route to increasing their knowledge is NOT only the seats in front of the living room TV sets. Maybe coaches should be examined to ensure they have both the knowledge and experience to properly train their charges.

We are currently at the participatory stage of both school football and cricket and the results are disturbing. Progress must be the outcome, otherwise we shall be deprived of seeing brilliance on our sporting fields.