Wednesday 5th September, 2007

 

Goals Galore

... in 2007 CFU Youth Cup

 
 
 
 
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BY NIGEL SIMON

FOR the third straight year, the Caribbean Football Union (Under-15) Youth Cup featured guest teams and just as in the previous two staging of the tournament in T&T, one of the guest teams won the title.

Hosted by the T&T Football Federation, the Youth Cup featured 17 regional teams and guest team El Salvador.

Led by the prolific, Jerrel Britto, the reigning T&T Pro League Under-15 “Player of the Year”, the local youngsters slammed Bahamas 9-0 in the opening match with Britto scoring a beaver-trick.

T&T’s goalspree in the first match set the tone as a total of 159 goals were scored in the 31 matches played.

The host country led the scoring with 27 goals from six matches closely followed by Guyana (25) and El Salvador with 24.

At the start of the tournament, T&T, under the supervision of first time coach and former national captain Reynold Carrington had high hopes of winning a first title.

But once again, the locals fell at the semi-final and had to settle for third spot with a 5-0 bashing of Guyana, led by Britto’s hat-trick which carried his tournament tally to 15 goals.

In the final, Ricardo Guevara and Cristian Noe Bustillo, two of El Salvador’s talented youngsters scored doubles as they became the third straight non-caribbean team to win the Youth Cup with a 7-1 demolition of surprise finalist Barbados on Thursday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.

El Salvador’s success came on the heels of triumphs by Canada and Mexico.

In 2005, Canada won the first title after defeating Guatemala 4-0 in the final while Jamaica took third-place with a 3-0 win over T&T under coach Ken Elie.

Last year, Mexico captured the Cup, when it was an Under-16 event, after topping Haiti 3-0 in the final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The 2006 tournament, which also doubled as the Caribbean preliminary qualification to the Concacaf Under-17 final round, had the Anton Corneal-coached T&T taking third following a 2-0 triumph over Jamaica.

Reflecting on the tournament, coach Carrington said he is hoping for a better alliance involving all stakeholders responsible for the development of footballers at the youth level in T&T.

Carrington described his first coaching tenure with a national team as a valuable learning experience.

“I welcomed the experience as it opened up a different aspect of coaching for me. We did well against the CFU teams but against El Salvador, we saw that we have much work to do,” Carrington said.

He hopes now that the team has come up short against Central American opposition, it will be a wake up call to the younger players as well as the coaching staff involved.

Carrington was high in praise for Jerrel Britto as one of the standouts as well as 13-year old Tobago-born goalkeeper John Thomas, striker Anslem Jackson and defenders Akeem Grant and Shaquille Stewart as promising.

“He (Britto) needs to keep focused. He also needs a lot of work in terms of his fitness. This is where the schools and clubs have to help more.”

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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