Following a press launch and draw Tuesday evening at Plante’s Place in Dennery, The DJ Dongar/Mackeson Invitational Cup kicks off this weekend with a double header. Seated at the head table was Mackeson Brand Manager (title sponsor), Ed Mathurin; Stag Brand Manager, Germaine Serieux; CEO of the Dongar/Mackeson Invitational Cup, Dongar McDonald; President of the Mabouya Valley Football League, Kendall Emmanuel; Tournament Organizer, James Prospere and the MC, Hendricks Constable.
Emmanuel said it is an honor and pleasure to be here tonight, at yet another opening of the DJ Dongar/Mackeson Tournament. Over the years we in the Mabouya Valley, Dennery and from last year Mon Repos, Micoud and Desruisseaux have been privileged to play in an organized football tournament that is being sponsored by Mackeson, Dongar and the other sponsors. So on behalf of Mabouya Valley, the affiliates the participating teams here tonight as well as the general football community in the Mabouya Valley, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Mackeson, DJ Dongar and all the other sponsors who are making this tournament possible.”
He went on to thank everyone who invested in the tournament and promoting the sport to ensure they give our young people the opportunity to participate in a meaningful activity. Prospere announced that the tournament is organized in a somewhat similar format from last year. The first leg of the tournament consists of home and away matches leading up to semifinals and finals.
“This year we have seen again a nice mixture of teams,” said Prospere. “We have three teams from Mabouya Valley, namely Rovers United, Survivors, Chesters. We also have teams from Dennery consisting of Piton Travel Young Stars and On the Rock Strikers and of course we have our neighbors El Ninos FC, Uprising United and Praslin Bay FC. So we have a whole mix of teams from the east coast taking part in this year’s tournament.”
He mentioned that the whole idea behind the tournament is to bring out teams, families, fans and to promote a better brand of football on the east coast. Mathurin pointed that this is the 11th year of the tournament, that initially was under the sponsorship of Carib Beer then came Mackeson. Having done his marketing research and studied the consumer base and target audience, Mathurin said: “I have to boast and admit that when it comes to the Mabouya Valley and Mackeson, it goes hand in hand when it comes to sports.”
As title sponsor Mackeson plays a key role in the tournament, however, Mathurin applauded and praised McDonald for his passion and drive and said “he is the one who deserves the bulk of the credit for staging the tournament.” In addition to sponsoring the tournament, Mackeson has also presented a few teams on the island with full kits of uniforms and today (Saturday), will make a special presentation to Rovers United.
Prior to his remarks, McDonald who is a man of very few words was introduced by the MC as “the brains of the tournament.” He thanked Mathurin for his kind remarks but said: “Mr Mathurin I am not going to take all the credit for myself, because without you the teams and of course supporting fans this tournament would not be where it is today.”
He thanked Mathurin for his continued support and wished all teams taking part in the tournament the best of luck. The highlight of the evening was the official draw for the tournament consisting of white and orange balls. Prior to the draw, Prospere explained that teams will be divided into two groups of four. Chesters, Rovers United, Survivals and Uprising FC are in one group. The other group consists of Piton Travel Young Stars, On the Rock Strikers, Praslin Bay FC and El Ninos FC.
In the opening game of the tournament on Saturday, Uprising FC play at home against On the Rock Strikers at 6:00 pm, followed by the second encounter at 8:00 pm between Rovers United and Piton Travel Young Stars. Interesting to note that the two teams played in last year’s final. Next Saturday at 6:00 pm, Chesters play at home against Praslin Bay FC then at 8:00 pm the home Survivals take on El Ninos FC.