The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division will almost certainly be forced to delay the close of its regular season, as the flood of rescheduled fixtures continues to pile up.
SSFL assistant secretary administration, Gerald Elliot, confirmed tonight that tomorrow’s rescheduled clash between Trinity College (Moka) and Queen’s Royal College has been postponed again, due to the inclement weather. And, although the SSFL executive has not made a formal decision just yet, the growing list of postponements is taking a toll on the football calendar.
“We will probably have to postpone the end of the season,” Elliot told Wired868, “but we are just taking it one day at a time to see where things go. We are not even sure that the Big Five games will be able to play on Tuesday as yet.”
The Shell/First Citizens Bank Boys Big Five competition was due to kick off on Tuesday with Malick Secondary (North), Chaguanas North Secondary (Central), Pleasantville Secondary (South) and Holy Cross College (East) confirmed as participants. However, the games were shifted to Wednesday and Thursday instead.
The Tobago Championship Division is still ongoing and faces a scramble to ensure that they get a team involved.
The top three schools from the Big Five competition will be promoted to the 2019 Premier Division while the bottom three from the top flight schoolboy competition drop into their respective zones.
The Premier Division season is scheduled to end on Saturday 3 November with the Coca Cola National Intercol competition kicking off three days later on Tuesday 6 November—when two schools from the trio of St Mary’s College, Fatima College and East Mucurapo Secondary will be rostered to play.
However, the Premier Division’s roster of games on Wednesdays and Saturdays leave little wiggle room for additional fixtures without creating a health risk for school boys.
An additional Monday game would at least give the players 48 hours recovery time between outings, although they would be playing four competitive matches in eight days—a feat not even asked of professional adults.
However, with the possibility of games ruled out tomorrow, there is now only one Monday left before the end of the season. And St Mary’s, QRC, St Anthony’s College and Trinity (Moka) all have two outstanding matches left from the total of nine rescheduled fixtures.
The SSFL executive are unlikely to postpone the Intercol competition to ease the backlog since the fixtures take students’ December exams into account. The National Intercol finals is scheduled for Tuesday 4 December.
The most feasible solution appears to be two rounds of rescheduled matches on Monday 29 October and Monday 5 November.
For QRC, St Anthony’s, Trinity (Moka) and the relegation threatened St Mary’s, it will mean five Premier Division matches in 10 days. And St Mary’s could then be asked to play a sixth game, a day later, when the North Zone Intercol competition kicks off.
Premier Division games to be rescheduled
Trinity College (Moka) vs QRC at Moka;
St Anthony’s College vs St Benedict’s College at Westmoorings;
St Augustine Secondary vs St Mary’s College at St Augustine;
East Mucurapo vs St Anthony’s College at Mucurapo Road;
QRC vs Carapichaima East Secondary at QRC;
San Juan North vs Presentation College (San F’do) at San Juan;
St Mary’s College vs Trinity College East at Serpentine Road;
Trinity College (Moka) vs Naparima College at Moka;
Valencia Secondary vs Fatima College at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar.
Upcoming SSFL fixtures
(Wednesday 24 October)
Malick Secondary vs Chaguanas North Secondary, 3:30pm, St Mary’s College;
(Thursday 25 October)
Pleasantville Secondary vs Holy Cross College, 3:30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
Tobago winners are on a bye
(Wednesday 24 October)
Bishop’s High School vs Valencia Secondary, 3:40pm, Tobago;
Carapichaima East vs St Mary’s College, 3:40pm, Carapichaima;
East Mucurapo vs Trinity College (Moka), 3:40pm, Mucurapo Road;
QRC vs St Benedict’s College, 3:40pm, QRC;
St Anthony’s College vs Fatima College, 3:40pm, Westmoorings;
St Augustine Secondary vs San Juan North Secondary, 3:40pm, St Augustine;
Trinity College East vs Presentation College (San F’do), 3:40pm, Trincity;
Naparima College are on a bye
2018 SSFL Premier Division