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ALGTHS Are Boys National Football Champions

General Secretary for the TCIFA Oliver Smith (right), shares in a photo moment with the 2023 National Football Champions the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School. At left is Head Coach, Jody Pusey

A magnificent display of goalkeeping by eventual Golden Glove winner Edwin Garland vaulted the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School to championship honors in the TCI Sports Commission/Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) Inter-High School Boys competition over a shellshocked TCIPS on Saturday at the National Stadium in Providenciales.

The Long Bay school secured the title with a close 4-3 on penalty shootout win, thanks to Garland’s heroics, after both teams had played to a 1-1 scoreline at the end of regulation time.

Victorious coach Jody Pusey lauded his boys for delivering the championship, stating that sticking to the game-plan was the result of the triumph.

“First, I want to thank God for bringing us out here safely, and to achieve this victory,” Pusey said. “On the field of play, we just stuck to the plan, be an organized team and got the job done, which led us to be victorious.”

He said his charges were well wary of the TCIPS custodian - Emmauel Harvey – who saved four penalty kicks during the semifinal penalty shootout against Maranatha Academy. He said ALGTHS sent out their best kickers to take the penalties.

“We can’t underestimate our opponents, we know that they had a very good goalkeeper, and so we sent our most experienced players to deliver our kicks, which they did well, and again, we ended up being victorious,” Pusey noted, adding that his team only took small breaks from training throughout the year as they wanted to get better at their craft and gel as a team.

“Our season has always started from September and go all the way back to the next September…from one to the other year. So, from one year to the next year we have always been recruiting, developing players, and today’s victory is the product of our programme,” Pusey said.

It was TCIPS who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, when their number 16 player Ancy Dawens buried a ferocious left footer from the left side of the field.

However, during the celebration they were conceded against. Referee Omar Edwards signaled the restart of the game, as TCIPS prolonged their celebration, resulting in the ALGTHS number 9 player Idelin Gardiner, shooting from the center circle into an empty goal.

Protest from the players and the bench went on deaf ears, and it was all to play for again.

Both teams pressed to break the deadlock, with ALGTHS getting the better chances, but muffed them each time, allowing the TCIPS defenders to recover and clear.

The expectation was that Gardiner, who was magnificent against Maranatha in the penalty shootout, would replicate his sterling performance in the final but rather it was the reverse, as he saved only one kick, while his ALGTHS counterpart blocked two.

Garland was also named MVP for his team in final, while Dawens was the TCIPS MVP.

It was a three-way tie for the golden boot. The trophy was shared by Idelin Gardiner of ALGHS, Joseph Alandy of TCIPS and Fedenslove Delsonna HJ Robinson High School.

Marco Williams of Marjorie Basden High School was adjudged the league’s MVP.


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