Pride, prizes at stake in Guinness Street Football finals
The Guinness Street Football Challenge finals, featuring parish champions, college winner and a wild-card entry, will battle for the title of national champions tomorrow at Half-Way Tree square, starting at 10:30 a.m.
The competing teams are: defending champion Slash Dash of Clarendon, Lucea FC (Hanover), Grange Hill Alliance (Westmoreland), Beverley FC (St Ann), Five Stars (St Mary), So Fresh (St James), Golf View Strikers (Manchester), Steamers (St Elizabeth), Medley Mixers (St Catherine), Drapers All Stars (Portland), Bath FC (St Thomas), Street People (Kingston), Bryce Hill All Stars (St Andrew), UWI FC (college champion) and Little London of Westmoreland (wild card entry).
The 16 teams will be divided into four groups for the preliminary round, played in a round robin. At the completion, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stage.
A game between a celebrity team and Guinness line-up will start at 6:55 p.m. The final game will be aired live on TVJ, starting at 8:25 p.m.
The champion team will represent Jamaica in the regional final in St Lucia, July 2 and 3.
Defending champions Slash Dash will be coming all out in defence of their national title.
"We are on a high, but we can't be complacent. We can't be over-confident. We have to be optimistic, but fully aware. The plan is to come out with our strategy," Damion Mulgrave, manager of Slash Dash, told STAR Sports.
Jeffrey Kerr, player/coach of Medley Mixers, said his team intends to do better than last year.
"Last year, we were knocked out early, so the experience gained has done a lot for us and, hopefully, we can come out on top this year," Kerr said.
St Elizabeth parish champions, Steamers, are also oozing confidence.
"The aim is to win, as last year we went to the semi-finals. This year, we intend to go all the way to St Lucia. We have a stronger team, so, definitely, we can win the title," Rupert Hinds, player/manager, Steamers stated.
St Andrew winners Bryce Hill are going all out for the title after failing to reach the national finals last year.
"Yes, we are hungry for the title. We want to play good football and keep the discipline," Basil Webster, Bryce Hill, player/manager, pointed out.