Goals galore out east in Guinness Street Football
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
Goals rained at the Folly Oval in Portland on Saturday as the Guinness Street Football Competition (GSFC) matched eastern teams against each other for big prizes and a chance at the national title.
Teams from Portland and St Thomas scored more than 150 goals, with prolific strikers Fabian Afflick of Drapers All Stars (Portland) and Demetrio Billet of Bath FC (St. Thomas) delivering 17 goals between them.
Afflick led his team to an emphatic win over Real Mon Strikaz who went down to an embarrassing 8-1 defeat. The four-man Drapers All Stars outmatched their rivals with sound technique and a strong push in the final.
"We struggled in the semi-finals but we came out victorious. I can't believe it, I'm very happy," said Afflick who won the Golden Boot Award. His team walked away with $100,000 in prize money and a coveted spot in the national finals set for May 29 in Kingston.
Their St. Thomas counterparts, Bath FC also showed their mettle with a 3-1 victory over Game Changers. The encounter seemed evenly matched up to half time, with both teams managing to find the back of the net only once. But sure-footed Demetrio Billet put Bath ahead in the second half to seal the deal and propel the team to victory.
"Words can't express the feeling. It is beautiful," said a jubilant Billet, who, with 10 goals, emerged the leading goal scorer for the day.
In addition to the entertainment value of high quality futsal, GSFC Match Day 5 also created an opportunity for talent scouts who have been keeping a keen eye on the tournament.
"There is impressive talent on display today and we will definitely pull on this for the National Futsal Team. There is a healthy pool to draw from and we will continue to scout stand out talent in the next round of matches" said Raymond Grant, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation.
One such talent is 19 year-old Hayden Street, captain of the Portland-based Reggae Land FA, who has had the unique opportunity of playing both Manning and DaCosta Cup football competitions. Street's coach Samuel LaMount described him as a solid all round player with good defensive skills and the right tactics.
"I'm hoping to one day make it on the National Team to represent Jamaica," said the young footballer who impressed fans and scouts alike.
"The Guinness brand is committed to unearthing raw talent and helping these players develop their craft. We are giving them a platform where they can showcase their talent to the world and we are especially pleased to see the JFF out to show support and confidence in street football," said Imru James, Red Stripe's brand manager for Stouts and Malta.
Teams from St Catherine and Clarendon will get their own chance to shine this Saturday, May 7 at the Jose Marti High School in St Catherine. 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.