NAGICO Cayon Rockets on Sunday December 10, won the 2023 Keith Gumbs U-17 League, after defeating St. Thomas Trinity Strikers 4-3 on penalties. Both teams battled to a 0-0 draw at regulation time, with Cayon having the lion share of the chances, but failing to put the ball in the back of the net. In the end, nerves took its toll on Strikers, as they missed their first two penalty kicks; one saved by Cayon’s goal keeper. Both keepers were awarded by the SKNFA for their performance in the league. Coach of Cayon Alcan Richards, said his players are dedicated and together, which makes them a formidable force in the U-17 league. “We’ve been working a while now from about two years ago; building the team confidence. So I think they know that they could have pull it up themselves,” Richards said. “Most of these players live in the same community and some of them go to the same school where they have a camaraderie.” He plans to preserve this core of players for the next season and beyond, noting at least four of them can play in the team again next year.
Meanwhile, Kasim Liburd, manager of the St. Thomas/Trinity Strikers highly commended his players for their effort, noting their participation in the school football tournament finals on Friday prior to the Youth League, could have taken a toll on them. “Not trying to look an excuse but the boys played in a final on Friday and have to come back today. So for me, we didn’t really had a full team,” he said. Good game; we played a good 90 minutes. I must shout out the keeper who actually kept us in the game. I am thankful that the season is done and hope we can do better next year,” he said.
He appealed for help for his team, disclosing that this group of players currently does not have a coach. The finals marked the end of a highly successful return of the Keith Gumbs U-17 League since the COVID 19 interruption.