BVIFA ready to launch 2015 BDO Primary and LIME High School Leagues


(l-r) Avondale Williams, Cassandra Gregg, Avanell Morton, Andy Bickerton, Ryan Gelugk (BDO) and Thomas Albert. Photo: BVIFA

(l-r) Avondale Williams, Cassandra Gregg, Avanell Morton, Andy Bickerton, Ryan Gelugk (BDO) and Thomas Albert. Photo: BVIFA

The British Virgin Islands Football Association / BDO Primary School and LIME High School Leagues will both kick off with the now traditional march from the Ferry Dock to the A.O. Shirley Ground on Wednesday 28th, January, 2015.

The BDO Primary School programme has seen an increase in participation each season and this year is no different, with twenty U7, seventeen U9 and seventeen U13 teams taking part.

As Cassandra Gregg, Primary School League Coordinator for the FA commented “the player registration has gone from around 500 to nearly 600 and we have increased from 15 teams to 20 teams. Everything is geared up for another wonderful year”

BVIFA President, Andy Bickerton, also noted that the Primary School League had now extended to full coverage of the territory: “It is good news that Anegada and, for the first time, Jots Van Dyke will have teams in the Primary School League. Althea Scatliffe Primary School has also held an Inter House Tournament ahead of this year’s BDO Primary School League and is obviously looking to be a serious threat to the likes of First Impressions and Cedar School”

Sponsors, BDO, are now into the fourth season with support that has gone well beyond purely financial and as Ryan Geluk stated at the 2015 launch, “Football teaches exercise and team work, which is important in everyday life and we (BDO) are proud of the programme, which has shown significant growth from the first year. This speaks volumes for the work done by the BVIFA, the Coaches, Cassandra and the schools.”

The U7’s will play their games at ASPS and on Virgin Gorda starting on February 2nd, 2015.

The U9’s/ U13’s will play at Baughers Bay, as well as on Virgin Gorda, with a same start date.

Speedy’s has once again stepped up to the plate to provide a ferry service to the players and parents traveling to and from Virgin Gorda and has also provided funding so that the FA can purchase video cameras.

The Lime High School League kicks off the week after with six teams in the Boys’ Open division, four in the U14’s Mixed division and four in the Girls’ Open division.

FA Executive Member in charge of Youth Development, Avanell Morton said “It is a great pleasure to be a part of this exciting venture and thanks go to the BVIFA, BDO and LIME for making it happen.”

Morton went on to confirm the plans for the 2015 opening ceremony, “School Teams, Parents, Teachers, Marching Bands, Cheerleaders and the Moko Jumbies will all assemble across from Pussers in Road town at 2pm, then at 3pm the procession will march through the centre of town, along Waterfront Drive and head to the A.O. Shirley Ground. At 4pm we will have the official opening ceremony.”

Bickerton also noted that the programme was now beginning to bear more fruit than just an annual league. “The BVIFA is satisfied but not complacent about the progression of the young boys and girls into our National programmes. An U15 Girls team performed very creditably at the CONCACAF Tournament. The same group of girls is on the verge of winning the Women’s Marlon Penn Nine a Side League and the U15 Boys just missed out on a semi final spot in the St Maarten F.A’s Easter Invitational Tournament in 2014 when they faced teams from Guadeloupe, Martinique, the hosts and the USVI.”

Full fixture lists are available at the BVIFA office at the Botanic Garden and will be sent to schools electronically.

BVIFA Launches new season with Men’s and Women’s Hon. Marlon Penn Nine a Side League


action from Panthers v Ballstars. Photo credit: BVIFA

Action from Panthers v Ballstars. Photo credit: BVIFA

Football action returned to the Greenlands Playing Field on Sunday, November 2 with four games including the opening of a Women’s competition for the first time since 2012 and Men’s league action.

Following a brief Opening Ceremony to mark the return of Women’s competitive action attended by Andy Bickerton, BVIFA President, Mrs. Shereen Flax Charles, BVIFA Women’s Committee Chair and the Honourable Marlon Penn, the Ballstars and new team, the Avengers, battled to a 0-0 draw at the end of regulation time.

A penalty shoot out ensued with Yasmin Ruffell- Smith, Murcella Gordon, Jehenell Joseph and Kia Foreman all scoring from the spot for the Ballstars. Chandni Wattley made the all important save from Avengers player, Laverne Fahie to secure the win after Makayda Fahie, Brittany Peters and Kelienne Smith were all successful.

The second game, between the Panthers and Ballstars also remained goalless at full time, but again the Ballstars remained cool under pressure to win the shootout 3-2. Gordon, Lareisha Martin and Foreman all scored for the Ballstars, before a string of fine saves and blocks restricted the Panthers to just two successful spot kicks

“I can’t say how happy the BVIFA is to see the Ladies League starting again” commented Bickerton “we put a lot of effort into Festivals and such a year or so ago, but it seemed to die away. Now with a revitalized Women’s Committee its up and running”

Bickerton also noted that the BVIFA is committed to sending teams away “Opportunities are open to all of the Ladies and if we have enough numbers and talent we will enter Competitions, just like the recent U15 trip to Cayman. We will continue to invest and support the Ladies playing Football.”

Mrs. Shereen Flax Charles, BVIFA Women's Committee Chair. Photo credit: BVIFA

Mrs. Shereen Flax Charles, BVIFA Women’s Committee Chair. Photo credit: BVIFA

Flax Charles addressed the Ladies on how important it was for the Ladies to keep playing and looking to improve their skills “Having just got back from a CONCACAF Seminar called Lets Develop Women’s Football I have had my eyes opened to all the possibilities that exist for you in Football. The Conference was themed “It’s Our Time” and we the BVIFA intend to make sure it rings true. One of the things I learned was, yes we need players, but also Coaches, Referees and Volunteers. We are committed and we will be promoting Women’s Football and I hope you won’t get tired of all the events we ask you to be involved in: Futsal, Beach Soccer and other Leagues”

Marlon Penn, for whom both Nine A side Competitions are named for was equally as happy to see the Games taking place “In this, your 40th Anniversary, I want to congratulate the Organisers for putting on this League. From humble beginnings all those years ago to where we are now is a tremendous achievement and with the new plans for a Stadium I see East End being the Mecca of Football in the Territory. I’m looking forward to watching games as the tournament unfolds and also to see how seriously you take the sport with team work, hard work and discipline”

The Men’s League opened with a comfortable 2-0 win for the Ballstars over One Love with second half goals from Joel Fahie and Riaul Roberts ensuring all 3 points for the youngsters over last season’s Premier League Runners Up.

The Islanders then got their campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 win against the Wolues. Rohan Lennon opened the scoring in the first half before Fitzroy Daley and Kevon Smith made it 3-0. Mark Gardner scored a late consolation goal for the Wolues.

Next Sunday the Women’s League gets properly underway with the U15 National Team taking on the Ballstars at 4pm and then the Panthers facing the Avengers at 5pm.

In the Men’s competition the Rebels face Old Madrid at 6pm and action concludes with Panthers against VG United.

Old Madrid Masters take second place in St Martin Vets Invitational


Old Madrid Masters in St Martin. Photo: Provided

Old Madrid Masters in St Martin. Photo: Provided

The Old Madrid Masters FC continued its impressive record in regional Masters football tournament this past weekend at the 4th annual St. Martin Veterans Invitational Tournament in Sint Maarten, Dutch West Indies, coming-up just short of winning the title for the third time.

The defending champions started strong by winning their division on Saturday by virtue of a 1-1 draw against United Super Force of St. Martin, a game that the Masters should have won but missed several scoring opportunities, followed by a 3-0 victory over St. Kitts’ Willful Skillful and a 3-0 win by forfeit over the Blue Fin Veterans who could not field a complete team for the match.

Goal scorers for the men from the BVI were Kenmore “Silk” Peters in the first match, and Anslem “Danny” Joseph, Noel “Strongman” Isaacs and Humphry Leue in the second.

The first semi-final match on Sunday featured the hosts and arch-rivals St. Martin Veterans, who took second place in their division, facing-off against Old Madrid. After a fiercely battled contest, the final whistle blew ending the game in a 0-0 draw, meaning that penalty kicks would decide who would move on to the championship match.

Virgin Islands goalkeeper Haenif “Size” James, last year’s hero for Old Madrid at this tournament, proved once again why he is one of the premier goalies of the region by saving two penalties, whereas Peters, Joseph, Isaacs and Leue each deftly placed their respective penalty kick in the back of the net with precision, giving Old Madrid a 4-3 victory and a chance to emerge as back-to-back champions.

The final match would see a repeat of the second divisional match, after Willful Skillful – who had placed second behind Old Madrid – beat the winners of the other division, Les Blues FC, in the second semi-final to earn the right to play for the champion’s trophy against Old Madrid.

However, this time Willful Skillful was reinforced by several players who did not play in their first encounter, and the match was much more competitive and balanced. Both teams had scoring opportunities, with Old Madrid in particular having one clear and golden opportunity to win the match, but the usually cool calm and collected Garnett “Duba” Ferron missed this time with a shot that went just over the crossbar.

Just like the first semi-final, the match ended in a scoreless draw, so again penalty kicks would decide the Champions and Runners-up of the tournament.
Things looked good for the Masters when Peters and Leue scored their penalty kicks and Willful Skillful missed one of their first two. However, consecutive misses by Joseph and Isaacs for the Masters, both of whose penalties were saved by the goalkeeper of Willful Skillful, turned the tide in favor of the team from St. Kitts, who did not miss again, winning the contest 4-3 and dashing the BVI’s hopes of another victory.

Despite the loss, Old Madrid remained upbeat and proud to have made it to the championship match. Team captain Kenmore “Silk” Peters commented: “We are of course disappointed not to have won, but we played well for the most part and demonstrated once again that the Masters can compete at a high level in Masters Football. Missed scoring opportunities cost us so we will have to do better next time in that area. Placing second is still a good achievement and we can hold our heads high. We are grateful to our supporters who traveled with us and especially our sponsors for this tournament, Alpha Consulting Services, Digicel BVI Limited and NAGICO Insurances, whose contributions made it possible for us to participate”.

Head Coach Elroy “Manjaker” Mills added: “I believe that we were actually the better team in terms of skilled players, we just did not take advantage of the scoring opportunities that we created. Having said that, congratulations to my old friend “Danga” Farrell and his Willful Skillful team, on the championship. Our team fought hard and played well, and I was able to give every player some playing time because of all the available substitutes that we had, it was the largest squad we’ve traveled with in several years which was good.”

One bright spot for Old Madrid was that Humphry Leue was awarded the individual trophy for best goal getter of the tournament.