Former 1998 Fifa World Cup assistant referee Merere Louis Gonzales, a retired teacher at Success RC and Mt Hope Secondary and a lay minister at the Maloney, D’Abadie and Mausica RC churches, is the new Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president, following a resounding win in the SSFL’s virtual annual general meeting today.
Gonzales, who is the current SSFL East Zone chairman, got 56 votes while challengers Phillip Fraser and Trinity College East principal Derek West managed 26 votes each. He now replaces William Wallace at the helm, after the latter official resigned on 6 July 2020—in the midst of a legal battle with Fifa.
“For me, this election campaign was about the 5 P’s,” Gonzales told Wired868. “And that is: proper preparation or planning prevents poor performance. That is something I always try to live by.”
Fraser, who was the SSFL first vice-president, acted as interim president for the schools body for the past 11 months. However, the retired San Juan North Secondary vice-principal and San Juan Jabloteh director choose to vacate his position as schools body vice-president to run for the top position.
In the end, he was left with neither job.
South Zone secretary Essiel Seecharan was elected first vice-president, after defeating Tevon La Rose by 64 votes to 28. La Rose put his position as SSFL second vice-president on the line to take on Seecharan and now also ends up without an executive post.
Tobago secretary Syandene Blackman-Walsh was appointed, unopposed, to the position of SSFL second vice-president.
The other members of the current SSFL executive are: Gerald Elliot (assistant secretary—administration/assistant treasurer), Laurence Seepersad (assistant secretary—operations), and Azaad Mohammed-Khan (general secretary/treasurer).