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|Guinness Caribbean Street Football Challenge …|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 21:50|
Back Circle Stallions confident ahead of tournament
DESPITE witnessing his team finishing in the fourth position of the Banks DIG-organised and sponsored warm-up tournament last weekend, captain of the reigning Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ champions ,Back Circle Stallions, Daniel Favorite expressed confidence heading into the inaugural Caribbean championships. Favorite took time out from his team’s practice session at the East Ruimveldt Community Centre hard court last Thursday afternoon, to inform Chronicle Sport of his heart’s desire to win the Guinness Caribbean Street Football Challenge which kicks off at the National Park tarmac this Thursday night.
“I know that several persons would not give us the thumbs up to win this tournament, since we finished fourth in the warm-up tournament which was won by D’Urban Street two Fridays ago - one that we were looking forward to win ourselves, as the champion team of Guyana.
But while it would have been great for us to come out victorious in that tournament - one that was hosted to give Guyana’s representative team adequate practice sessions - we are focusing on the bigger picture, which is winning the Caribbean tournament and I know we can do it,” said Favorite.
Victorious street teams representing Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Haiti, St Vincent and St Lucia, will converge on Guyana from June 20 to 23 to do battle for a first-place prize of US$4 000 and a multi-purpose hard court facility, compliments of Guinness.
The dreadlocked Favorite added, “Right now we are intensifying our preparations for this tournament and we are looking forward to coming out victorious. What hurts a lot is that we don’t have any idea on any of our opponents, so for now we just have to train and train hard, while playing team ball.”
“It is not like when we go into the Guinness tournament here and we face teams like Albouystown, Tiger Bay or even Broad Street, where we know what they would be bringing to the table as well as who their key players are and build our game plan around that.
Here is foreign territory for us. We are going up against street teams representing these six countries and while the prizes up for grabs are attractive and lucrative, our aim is to bring added glory to Guyana by winning this thing,” said Favorite.
Asked to identify some of the key players who he feels can do both East Ruimveldt and Guyana proud, Favorite mentioned Andy Duke, Bertie Pedro, Vincent Thomas, Philip Rowley along with himself, as the ones who have opted to take on the role of seeing their team to victory.
“Winning this thing would be a tremendous boost to not only the players of our team, but also the community and Guyana at large, as it would encourage other young individuals to take up the sport of football in the future.”
Even though they had some practice matches in the warm-up tournament, Favorite said they do get in much more needed game assimilation exercises, by engaging in several practice matches with teams from within the East Ruimveldt community daily.
“This enables us to assess where we are as with regard to our fitness and also game awareness, as these guys come at us with all guns blazing and even though we come out victorious, we are made to work hard for the win.
However, the guys don’t mind putting in that extra pound of effort, as we all have one common goal in mind, to win the Guinness Caribbean Street Football Challenge tournament right here in our own backyard,” stated Favorite.
The Guinness Caribbean Street Football Challenge, of which T&T skipper and Stoke City’s forward Kenwyne Jones is the Brand Manager, will see each team play a total of five preliminary round matches during the first two nights of action, for which patrons will be charged an admission fee of $500.
On the third and final night of action where patrons will be asked to pay an admission fee of $1 000, the semi-finals, third-place playoff and final will be contested, while the teams placing fifth and sixth, will do battle for that position in the competition as well.
Apart from the first-place prize, the second-, third- and fourth-placed teams will receive US$2 000, US$1 500 and US$1 000 respectively and as is customary, Banks DIH, through their Guinness brand of products, will be doing massive giveaways all three nights of action.
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