THE SKILLS, goals to savour, coolers, debate over referee decisions. The beautiful game of football is back on the Tobago landscape, after a hiatus of two years, due to the covid19 pandemic.
The lifting of covid19 restrictions for the resumption of sports, paved the way for the start of the inaugural Tiger Tanks under-20 invitational football tournament.
St Clair Coaching School were the dominant team as action got underway in the Tobago zone, at the Mt Gomery recreation ground in Bethel, last Saturday.
Bright sunshine added to the lively atmosphere and the relief of the spectators, as referee Oralyn Lincoln blew her whistle to commence the 2 pm start of first game between Coaching School and Stokely Vale FC of Plymouth.
Coaching was immediately on the offensive and got their reward on six minutes, as Adriel School George tapped in from close range, following a right side cross. Jabarie Mc Millan extended the score-line with a penalty in the 12th minute.
Colin Sargeant netted a double in the 15th minute and the stroke of half time, as Coaching School closed out the first half leading 4-0.
Stokely Vale showed more fight in the second half, but conceded a penalty in the 54th minute, which Quason Sharpe converted to complete a 5-0 result for Coaching School.
Orson Thom, coach of Coaching School, was high in praise for his team performance, but added that there are areas for improvement going forward. He said, “Given the limited time we had to prepare it was an overall good performance.
“We accomplished certain things and dominated the game, but we will have to improve on general fitness, ball possession and some tactical aspects.”
Thom was cautious about his team chances of winning the tournament. He added, “For me it is not all about winning. We will want to go as far as possible, but I always encourage the players to do their best at all times.”
The rust of the players was evident in the second match between Bethel SC Youths and FC Tobago Phoenix, as both teams had trouble maintaining possession throughout the game.
Sharn Baker broke the deadlock in the 60th minute to give Bethel a 1-nil lead.
Jeremiah Bristol made sure Phoenix got a share of the points, with his equaliser seven minutes into extra time.
Youth Stars United of Argyle, the fifth team in the Tobago zone, will begin their quest in the second round of matches, at the said venue on Saturday.
Youth Stars will entertain Bethel United at 2 pm, followed by Phoenix versus Coaching School at 4.15 pm.
The top team in Tobago after two rounds of matches, will oppose the winners among the ten teams in the Trinidad zone, on a home and away basis, to determine the champions.