There is a question mark hanging over the future of the Blink/Bmobile-sponsored All Sport Promotions National Super League (NSL) but organisers are happy with what it has so far contributed to national football.
Speaking yesterday evening at the launch of the League’s 2013 season at the CLICO Hospitality box at the Queen’s Park Oval, All Sport Promotion (ASP) marketing manager Anthony Harford told the gathering that the general restructuring taking place in the wake of the rebranding of the national umbrella association has shortened the horizons for the Super League.
“The new TTFA are re-organizing football in this country,” said Harford, “and, although we have a contract with them until 2015, (….) we have agreed that we will surrender our contract at the end of this year. So I’m not at liberty to speak about events beyond 2013 but I can promise we will always play a part in football in this country.”
The ASP boss emphasized that, despite the current unsatisfactory state of national football, the decade-old Super League has been a positive for local football.
“I would think the NSL in its first 10 years has made a positive difference in football in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said. “The evidence that has come across my desk has proven to me that we are producing far better administrators that have a better attitude to the running of football, more high-quality officials on and off the field and a general club and community structure that is alive and running.”
Responding on behalf of the TTFA, Central Football Association (CFA) President Brian Layne praised the Super league organisers and staff.
“The past 10 years that All Sports ran this competition, it’s been a plus for local football,” said Layne. “Your staff is certainly very hard working and the TTFA wishes you a successful year in the league and hopes that everyone – the players, coaches, referee’s continue to work together for the betterment of T&T football.”
Harford pointed out that the League had not had the promised level of support from the Ministry of Sport but it had not backed off its commitments to its stakeholders.
“The monies that were invested in the first 10 years in the Super League by the Ministry were not given to us as was promised in 2012,” explained Harford. “The end result was that we had to find other resources to pay for the travel of the teams to and from Tobago, which is a commitment we made at the start of the League when we said Tobago had to be included if this was to be an authentic national super league.”
The 2013 season of the League is scheduled to kick off on Sunday (July 7) and end on February 14, 2014. The new competition format will see three of the 13 teams demoted and the top two from the playoffs promoted with the result that the League will revert to its original 12-team format for future seasons.
Last season’s Knockout winners, Stokely Vale Football Club and League champions WASA Football Club were also presented with their trophies and cheques for $75,000 and $200.00 respectively.
The five Players of the Year were also named with Darren Mitchell (1976 FC Phoenix), Jahhan Hernandez (WASA FC), Troy Thompson (Westside Superstarz FC), Junior Grainger (Real Maracas) and Ellis Dyette (Joe Public) all earning that distinction along with $2,500 each.
Mitchell, who now represents Pro League outfit Central FC, also copped an additional $5,000 cheque as the NSL’s Most Valuable Player.
National Super League 2012 Honour Roll
Five Players of the Year/Club
Darren Mitchell – 1976 F.C Phoenix (Most Valuable Player)
Jahhan Hernandez – WASA Football Club
Troy Thompson – Westside Superstarz F.C
Junior Grainger – Real Maracas
Ellis Dyette – Joe Public
Stokely Vale Football Club ($75,000)
League Championship Winners
First Place – WASA Football Club ($200,000)
Second Place – Joe Public Football Club ($100,000)
Third Place – Westside Superstarz F.C ($50,000)
Fourth Place – Real Maracas ($22,500)
NLCB National Youth League Awards
Joint winners ($4,000) – FC Santa Rosa/ 1976 Phoenix
Most promising Player – Andre Rampersad (FC Santa Rosa)
Winner ($5,000) – Moruga FC
Runner-up ($3,000) – FC Santa Rosa
Most Promising Player – Romano Steeling (Moruga FC)
Joint winners ($4,000) – Southern Football Academy/ Stokely Vale FC
Most Promising Player – Derrick Biggart (Southern Football Academy)