The Secondary Schools Football League and its Executive committee led by President William Wallace came in for high commendation from the Ministry of Education for its commitment and vision towards national development through youth football.
At an end of season appreciation event for its executive, staff and partners at the Home of Football, Ato Boldon Stadium on Saturday, Adviser to the Minister of Education, Cheryl Ann Wilkinson lauded Wallace and his team for the successful completion of the 2017 season which ended with the staging of an All Star Match at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium the previous weekend.
“I am honoured to be here. I do not feel as a guest here, I feel as if I have returned home after some length of time,” the former principal of Arima Senior Comprehensive.
“I want to congratulate Mr Wallace and his executive, and the coaches and players for their job this season. We are very proud of the league to see that you now have an office and you have indeed come a long way. I will do everything that I can to ensure that you go an even a longer way as an administration.”
She added that will lobby to have members of the SSFL Executive be seconded to carry out their duties within the League
“I think there should be a secondment and also a subvention from the Ministry of Education for the League. This is a very costly exercise and out of this so many of students continue to get opportunities We have had many players who were able to get scholarships as a result of the football and this is indeed a worthy exercise. I am proud to have been associated with the League and continue to be associated with the league,” Wilkinson added. She noted that it brought her a sense of satisfaction to see talented, dedicated and disciplined youths coming together to be part of an effort towards national development through sport.
Wallace meantime spoke of the milestones achieved this year which included one of the most viewed Intercol and Premier League Finals on television via live telecast on Sportsmax TV along with several live broadcast of other matches during the season. Additionally the League was able to stage a TTFA “B” License coaching course for coaches of schools in conjunction with the TTFA and have held discussions with the TTFA as it related to structuring the League to suit the needs of the national football. The SSFL also staged for the first time a first responders course for team officials an launched its official website in 2017. A symposium with all stakeholders and officials will also be staged early in 2018.
“We are happy that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is willing to work with us. They are the ones who have reached out to us and offered to work and at the end of the day it is about the development of Trinidad and Tobago football. It goes beyond us and we always have to see the bigger picture,” Wallace said.
TTFA Director of Football Muhammad Isa also shared some words at Saturday’s event, highlighting the efforts between both parties.
“I am proud to say that we have started some negotiations with the Secondary Schools Football League on things that we believe need to be looked into to outline the football in the SSFL. I am happy to say that the TTFA continues to be supportive of the League,” Isa said.
Wallace said the league would continue on its path to carry out the critical steps to ensure the players and officials get the most out of the season and that the SSFL is actively engaging stakeholders and partners in this process.