Roma United wins ‘Christmas Cup’

FTS Director Paul Byles (right) presents the champions trophy to Roma United's Oral Wiltshire with Academy's Jack Brazil.

Roma United went undefeated in four games to claim the trophy in the Academy Sports Club Christmas Cup played during the break of the CIFA Premier League season.

The five-team tournament was organised to give clubs more match experience due to fewer games on the schedule during this CIFA season and because some clubs only have a handful of games under their belt at this stage.

In addition to hosts Academy Sports Club, other teams in the tournament that was not sanctioned by CIFA included Future Sports Club, George Town Sports Club and Tigers Football Club.

Roma United comfortably won their first three games before a scoreless draw against Academy SC to win the cup presented by sponsors FTS.

“This is just an example of what’s to come. I hope the guys can maintain discipline…you have to win every week and bring your ‘A’ game. Once the guys maintain their discipline and intensity, we can achieve it and be the champions,” said Roma United coach Oral Wiltshire.

Although his team came out on top during the Christmas Cup, Wiltshire was more satisfied that he was able to keep his guys focused for the remainder of the Premier League season.

“We knew that once we took the break, the guys intensity would be lowered, and we don’t want to go back from zero. So, we used this as a medium to get the guys prepared for the second leg of the Premier League,” he said.

“I was very impressed with the commitment and the turnout of the players. They came out and they played well and they followed instruction.”

Academy SC coach Jack Brazil was the main man behind the tournament and he was happy to get his squad some additional games.

“We’re impressed with the remainder of the teams buying in and we want to thank Tigers, George Town, Future and Roma, who ended up winning it. Congratulations to them. We’re pleased with the seriousness they showed for the tournament and we hope it’s something that recurs.”

Academy were runners-up, finishing tied on seven points with Future SC but having a better goal difference. As he gears up to lead his side in the action-packed months ahead, Brazil used the opportunity to get his younger players some valuable time on the pitch.

“With 21 Premier League games last year, we had the opportunity to give the youth such as Trey Ebanks, Kion Parchmont, Sullivan Zelaya Mejia opportunities. This year with 13 games, there’s a lot less time to be handed around, so these extra games has given us the opportunity to see these guys in action against other competitive men’s teams. That’s how we’ve used it and that’s how we’ve benefited from it,” he said.

Tigers FC finished in 5th place behind George Town SC but coach Gonzalo McLaughlin saw the tournament as more of a developmental tool than as a competition for his youthful side.

“We had a few players that did not play in the regular season. What we did was use this tournament to do is to get them in shape, get them more playing time, so their level can rise a bit,” he said.

McLaughlin took a positive away from improvements he saw from his players. I’m happy with their performance and their on-the-ball decisions because a lot of them are at the development stage and they are young players…it’s really important for them to get these games and develop further,” he said.

The CIFA Premier League season resumes on Saturday, 13 January.



You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.