Gros Islet not only won in impressive fashion the 2013 Blackheart Knockout Football Tournament, but received the bulk of individual awards and cheques handed out at Wednesday evening’s prize-giving at the Players Lounge of the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
All the participating teams received their prize-monies for their various placing in the tournament as well as for goals scored during the tournament, appearance fee and transportation during the tournament.
Topping the prize money list were first time champions Gros Islet who went home with $16,500. Second placed Babonneau took home $9,250, Mabouya Valley pocketed $5,500, while fourth placed Roseau Valley collected $2950. All the other participating teams went home with their various cheques inclusive of money for goals scored in the tournament, appearance fee and transportation. The first speaker, Tournament Director Brian McDonald, gave the good the bad and ugly when it came to this tournament which was highly criticized. Lateness of games especially on Finals Saturday, continues to be a growing concern.
McDonald said: “The Blackheart Knockout Football Tournament for 2013 described as a success in many a quarter, in other quarters described as an unprofessional organization, whether you want to look at it from their standpoint or another standpoint. As a member of the organizing team in terms of the tournament, the games played and how things went, it was one of the better tournaments.”
While the highly hyped final between Gros Islet and a Babonneau team suffering from stage fright did not live up to expectations, McDonald applauded the two teams and said “it was the biggest crowd ever in the north for a football final.”
Managing Director of Blackheart Productions, David “Shakes” Christopher, congratulated the teams and sponsors who made the tournament a success. Giving his preview of the tournament, he felt certain teams did not take the tournament seriously, some of were unprepared for warm up games, while others played cat and mouse.
Christopher singled out champions Gros Islet for employing the cat and mouse tactic to perfection, by waiting until the tournament started to unleash their young players.”
He praised heavy underdogs Babonneau and said “they had their ups and downs but stayed together as a unit and we saw what could happen.”
Christopher readily admitted there were a few issues in the tournament, the most critical being lateness of games on Saturday which he addressed in a somewhat humorous fashion. “The first game [Third Place Playoff] could not be played on time because some of the players are Seven Day Adventist,” said Christopher. “We don’t play with people’s religion.”
All well and good but he didn’t stop there. The gathering exploded with laughter when he said: “You could be a Buddha, al-Queda, a Seven Day Adventist or whatever religion, but you have to respect people’s religion. We brought in a veterans game to buy some time to let the sun go down, so the Seven Day Adventists could come out after Sabbath in a nice way.”
At the prize-giving, sponsors received not tokens but brown envelopes of appreciation while players who stood out in the competition were presented with trophies and cheques.
The following awards were presented in the various categories: Most Outstanding Young Player, Sixteen year-old Otev Lawrence (Gros Islet); Best Manager, Anthony Evans (Gros Islet), Best Coach: Francis “Baba” Lastic (Gros Islet); Fastest Goal, Winel Felix (Dennery) in the second minute of the match between Dennery and Laborie; Best Dressed Team (Mabouya Valley); Most Spectacular Goal, Elam “Calebos” Joseph (Gros Islet); Best Goal Keeper, Giovanni Deterville (Gros Islet), in four matches he conceded one goal; Best Defense Player, Otev Lawrence (Gros Islet); Best Midfield Player, Elam “Calebos” Joseph (Gros Islet); Top Goal Scorer, Wayne “Vincie” Theodule (Mabouya Valley), Eden “Eve” Charles (Gros Islet) and Kerwin “Bierhoff” Brouet (Marchand); Fair Play Trophy (Dennery). Gros Islet Captain Vard Daniel received a special award, for his outstanding leadership qualities and discipline shown in leading his team to championship success.