Major upsets, high energy as GSFC delivers in Mandeville

by

April 20, 2016
Steamers of St Elizabeth celebrate their victory as they look forward to the national finals.
Wayne Watson of Steamers.
Duane James (right), manager of Golf View Strikers, celebrates a 10-0 victory with Jamarly Powell. 
Taj Alvaranga (left) of Golf View Strikers poses with Nathan Nelms, assistant brand manager of Stouts at Red Stripe.
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MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

All the elements were in place for an encounter of youth versus experience when defending parish champions Red Army battled the Golf View Strikers for the Manchester title in the Guinness Street Football Competition (GSFC) last Saturday. But if the young 2015 parish champs thought it would have been a walkover, they were in for a rude awakening.

Red Army started the day strong, moving into striking position with a 6-0 victory to propel them into the semi-finals. However, they were no match for the older, obviously more experienced Golf View Strikers who took the younger ballers to school, with a 10-0 thrashing.

"We decided to play as hard as we can, play gritty and tackle hard," said Taj Alvaranga of Golf View Strikers. Alvaranga played football at the collegiate level for the Washington-based Howard University and went on to play in a couple of US leagues before returning to Jamaica. The football DNA of the team was also evident in brothers Duane, Damion and Robert James who are all former Los Perfectos players.

Though most of the Golf View Strikers are in their mid to late 30s, the players are confident in their collective experience and their ability to take the national title.

St Elizabeth teams 'steam-rolled'

Match Day 4 also saw teams from St Elizabeth matching skills for a slice of the big-money pie. The self-proclaimed 'Futsal Godz' seemed set to claim the crown until the Steamers proved they were more than mere mortals, delivering a 4-1 set down that threw the crowd into a frenzy.

The Steamers, who had previously entered the competition, outmatched Futsal Godz at every turn.

"To be honest, in the previous two GSFCs, we fell short because of some sloppy mistakes," said Ackeem Brown of Steamers who also walked away with the Golden Boot Award for leading goal scorer. "We play a lot of futsal and 5-on-5," added teammate Wayne Watson. "We love football, we have the quality, and as they say, third time is the charm," said Watson.

The GSFC continues with Match Day 5 on Saturday, April 30 at the Folly Oval in Portland, where, teams from Portland and St Thomas will compete for a shot at their parish titles and a share of $3.5 million. Teams can sign up for the four-a-side scrimmage online at www.gsfcjamaica.com, on the Guinness Facebook page or by calling the GSFC Hotline at 618-9291.

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