Basseterre, St. Kitts, 31st July 2015 – The St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association is very pleased about this year’s production of the Final-4 play-offs and the Best-of-Three competition, which delivered beyond expectation, said Stanley Jacobs, the secretary general of the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association, (SKNFA).
This year’s major football premier league finals saw S. L. Horsford St. Paul’s United winning the League’s trophy, plus bragging rights for another year, having won it back-to-back. Now there is talk about a hat trick, but there is time for that much later.
Commenting on the overall delivery of the games, Jacobs said, “We are extremely pleased with the organization of the event. Everything went very well, even though it was the first time hosting the Final-4 on the cricket side of the stadium. We believe that it helped raise the standard of the overall experience for the patrons.” Plus, the availability of the hospitality suites went down very well, he said, being able to achieve 100 percent rentals.
In regards to concerns raised about playing on the cricket pitch, Jacobs said there was no damage done, and makes the point that it is not unusual to have cricket and football sharing the same facilities. “There are many facilities similar to the Warner Park facility, throughout the world, where cricket and football share the same facility. We did not anticipate there would be any damage to the pitch. On review after the completion of each of the matches, the pitch was in excellent condition,” Jacobs informed.
The general secretary had high praise for the participating teams and appreciated their feedback on the conditions of play. According to Jacobs, “The teams exceeded our expectations in a lot of instances. The feedback from the players was that the surface, the field, was excellent, and it helped with enabling more accurate passing and a better display of football. So, the teams were happy with it, and from the spectators, in terms of the overall production, the feedback is that they had a wonderful experience.”
Playing next year’s Final-4 at the Cricket Stadium is not conclusive, but Jacobs believes that the Final-4 and Best-of-Three are major events on the SKNFA calendar for St. Kitts and Nevis. He opined, “We believe this has set the standard, in terms of what is possible, given the availability of the facility, so that is something that will be up for consideration.”
Playing national football at a high standard is something few, if any, associations could execute on their own resources. The support of sponsors is therefore vital to the success of the tournaments. This year, the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank was the major sponsor of the Premier League.
“We are extremely pleased with the sponsorship of National Bank for the 2014 – 2015 Premier League Season,” said Jacobs, adding, “We are looking forward to having them on board for the coming season as well.”
Looking ahead, the calendar is as busy as any time of the year leading up to the Final-4. With a broad smile, Jacobs said, “Football work never ends.”
He outlined several tournaments that are to occur in just a few weeks. He explained that at the same time SKNFA was hosting the Final-4, the Under-20 women were competing in the Under-20 World Cup Qualifiers. He said attention will now turn to the Under-15 boys who travel to St. Maarten next week for the Under-15 Caribbean Football Union Championships taking place in St. Maarten and Anguilla.
Interestingly, Jacobs disclosed that in August, the Caribbean Football Union Under-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers will be held in Nevis. “For the very first time, a regional football tournament will be taking place on the island of Nevis… We are extremely grateful and happy to be partnering with the Nevis Island Administration to host this event on Nevis,” stated Jacobs.
The SKNFA official thanked the corporate community that “supported football in a major way” this year, and especially to those who took advantage of the hospitality suites. Special thanks went to National Bank and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially Minister of Sports Shaun Richards for making the cricket facility available.
Jacobs extended appreciation and thanks also to the four teams that participated in the tournament, and congratulated the two teams that made it to the finals, and the eventual champion, S L Horsford St. Paul’s United, for capturing the National Bank Premiere League title for a second consecutive time.
Additional information, contact:
General Secretary, SKNFA