NYFL 2023: East and South Zones kick off, but North postponed while hiccup in Central

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The Republic Cup National Youth Football League (NYFL) kicked off in the East and South Zones today. But the North, Tobago and Girls Divisions will have to wait for at least another week to join the fray, while Central Zone games should start on Sunday 12 March.

Gateway Athletic managing director Shem Alexander confirmed postponements of varying lengths in the North and Central Zones, while the remaining divisions were already in the waiting room.

123 Goodness midfielder Ronaldinho Richards (left) tries to keep his balance during the Republic Cup Youth Football U-16 final against Pt Fortin YA at the Ato Boldon Stadium Training Field in Couva on 3 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

“We had to postpone the North Zone due to unsuitable playing conditions,” Alexander told Wired868.

The NYFL competition, which was initially due to begin on 4 March, is run by Gateway Athletics, in conjunction with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)—and doubles up as the local governing football body’s de facto national youth competition.

However, the pre-tournament pitch inspections apparently failed to pick up that the Queen’s Park Savannah did not have goal posts.

KFC Munch Pack

In the Central Zone, Alexander said the issue was the double booking of grounds. He said tomorrow’s round of matches in that zone are expected to go off without issue.

Otherwise, the Tobago and Girls divisions are earmarked to start on 18 and 19 March.

The NYFL is the largest youth competition in the country and caters for over 3,000 children.

(From left) 2006 World Cup player Anthony Wolfe, TTFA technical director Anton Corneal, Republic Bank manager Reena Gopaul and Gateway Athletics managing director Shem Alexander at the launch of the 2023 NYFL in Barataria on 28 February 2023.
(via TTFA Media)

TTFA technical director Anton Corneal anticipates that the competition would play an important role in the rebuilding of the local game, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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