By Neto Baptiste
The 2020 edition of the Cool & Smooth Youth Premier League is set to commence later this month.
This was confirmed by chief organiser and former national player, Sowerby Gomes, who said the competition will start on January 26 and could run for just over a month.
“It’s going to be held over at the Julia Hadeed Sports Complex in Mount Pleasant. We are very happy with what’s happening and we’re looking forward to having another blast season and we are looking to run it for about six to seven weeks this time around and the teams are all geared up and ready to go. We are thankful to have the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association who really inaugurates our league and they are on board this year again, and the North Coast Juniors Football Club who play a pivotal role in us putting on our tournament,” he said.
Gomes added that the tournament will host several age categories in which over 10 clubs will participate.
“We are looking to have 12 clubs but in five categories where we will have seven and under, nine and under, 11 and under, 13 and under and 16 and under and all will be playing over at the Mount Pleasant Sports Complex on Saturdays,” the coach said.
The former defender recollected that the standard in last year’s tournament was high and believes this is due to a continued effort by the local governing body to educate its coaches.
“The ABFA is very strong on coaches’ development and coaches’ education so you have a lot of these workshops going on and these coaches are now getting up to speed. Those who had not been licensed are now getting their D licence and those who have their D are now looking to get their C so that continuous education and refresher course of these coaches has enabled them to impact more on the youth programmes and as a result, we’re actually seeing more transformation, development with these younger players,” Gomes. Clubs wishing to take part in the Youth Premier League are asked to contact Gomes at 728-6251.