The Turks and Caicos Islands Under 15 male and female footballers ended their three-match tournament respectively, on a high with big wins against the US Virgin Islands (USVI) on Sunday.
The local female team trounced their USVI counterparts by a 5-0 margin in the curtain-raiser, with Raven Marcellus scoring a hat-trick, to walk away at the presentation with the Golden Boot Award, after scoring five goals in the series.
In the boys’ encounter, Dornell Wiles, who also scored a hat-trick of goals, and was awarded the Golden Boot on the male side, led the TCI to a 6-0 whipping of their USVI counterpart.
The Turks and Caicos Under 15 girls ended the tournament with 18 goals and one against. In the first encounter, the local females hammered USVI 8-1. In the second game they trounced the USVI 5-0.
Not to be outdone, the males, in their first encounter, thrashed USVI by a 7-nil margin. In the second encounter, they could only get by their opponents 2-nil. However, they stormed back in the final game, to end the three-match series with 15 goals and none against.
The USVI goalkeepers – both male and female - walked away with the Golden Glove Awards. On the female side, it was Elsa Holmes, while on the male side, it was Khalid Worrall.
Irener Molin of the TCI walked away with the Most Valuable Player award, while Devaughn Daniels walking away with the award for the males.
Daniels, who spoke with NewslineTCI after the game, said that his goal is to represent the TCI at every level. The midfielder hailed the coaches, who he said believed in the players’ ability.
Coach for the Youth Programme, Shavar Thomas, told NewslineTCI, in his post-game interview that he saw tremendous growth with youth football in the Turks and Caicos over the past year and a half, pointing out that the players’ performances in the three encounters bore testament.
He said the 10-day training camp that the boys attended in Florida in April, in addition to prior events in which they participated, augmented their development hence the results on the weekend.
“We just want to push our level. The better we get, the better teams we want to play against. We have to measure ourselves against the best. So, we are looking to play the best if we want to get better,” Thomas said.
For her part, Yunelsis Rodriguez-Baez, the Technical Director for the Women’s Football, said some of girls that played in the tournament could find their way in the Under 17 squad based on their improving technical abilities. She said the Under 17s are scheduled to participate this year in the Under 17 World Cup qualification matches.
Rodriquez-Baez pointed out that the objective of the tournament was to test the developmental levels of the girls. She said though that weekend’s success does not mean that it is time for relaxation, but a time to build on the progress made so far.
She bemoaned the fact that the programme continues to lose important players, many of whom she said as soon as they graduate high school, go off to college and as a result lose interest in football.
Nonetheless, Rodriquez-Baez said the programme continues to grow.
In the meantime, Andrew Edwards, Technical Director for the TCIFA Football Programme, said he has seen tremendous improvements overall.
He shared similar sentiments with Rodriquez-Baez that the success gained over the weekend does not mean that it is time to rest on their laurels, but to push for further success with the players.