By Neto Baptiste
Football players across all age and gender categories will put their skills on display during this weekend’s Cool & Smooth Easter Classic, dubbed ‘A National Affair’, as they seek to impress national coaches ahead of selections for a number of upcoming competitions.
This was revealed by technical director for the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) and former national player, Sowerby Gomes, who said the event will replace the traditional Easter Classic youth competition this time around.
“We within the national association have been having quite a number of our national teams, and usually in the past we [Villa] would have opened up for the entire youth programme across Antigua with the Villa Lions Easter Classic, but what we have done is narrowed it down to the teams in training. The teams in training now are our national teams, and the reason for that is our national teams at each of these levels will be going into competitions later this year, so to make it happen and to make this particular tournament feasible this year, we have dubbed it a national affair,” he said.
Gomes explained the logistics of the two-day affair and how participating players will benefit.
“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a large contingent of players trying to break into the under-14 set up, the under-17, the under-20, the under-15 females and also the senior national team. What we are going to be doing is breaking them up into three or four teams and they will play against each other in what you would call a real competitive level so that the coaches can look at the players in each of the age categories and be able to narrow down the teams,” the technical director said.
The competition will start at 2:00 pm on Friday and climax on Saturday at the FA’s technical and training center located on the Sir Sydney Walling Highway.