Dozens celebrate CONCACAF Women’s Day


Celebrating CONCACAF Women's Day in the BVI. Photo: BVIFA

Celebrating CONCACAF Women’s Football Day in the BVI. Photo: BVIFA

Nearly fifty young ladies and women gathered on Greenlands Playing Field on Saturday 23rd May, 2015, to participate in the inaugural CONCACAF Women’s Football Day, hosted by the BVI Football Association.

This initiative, which was presented at the CONCACAF “Let’s Develop Women’s Football” seminar held in October 2014 in Philadelphia, aimed to unite all 41 Member Associations to simultaneously celebrate women’s football throughout the region.

“I’m happy to see so many young girls and Ladies here today,” commented BVIFA Executive, Shereen Flax Charles, who is responsible for women’s football. “The event is geared to promote and develop women’s football and looking at today’s turn out, we have much to look forward to.”

The Girls, after completing registration forms, were then split into Age Groups to experience different aspects of the game, from playing games to competing in various skill challenges, including dribbling, shooting, juggling and passing.

In the 6-8 Group, Kirsha Nisbett won the Passing Challenge and the Juggling Contest, whilst Tezaria and Mykah shared Shooting Honours.

In the 9- 12 Category, J’Nya Demming was Passing Champion, Javiola Hodge Best Juggler and Fastest Ball Controller, whilst Demming also won the Shooting Contest.

Laresha Martin won the 13-15 bracket for Juggling, Kayla Bolus won the Speed Challenge and Martin also shared the Shooting Challenge with Lilly Pierce.

In the Open Age Group, Christine Jackson was top Juggler, Shooter and Passer while Yasmin Ruffell-Smith was Speed Queen.

“This event also marks the beginning of the BVIFA’s Summer of Soccer,” concluded Flax Charles. “Next week we have the Women’s World Cup League for 13 years upwards. It will be held every Sunday for the next four weeks and even if you have never played the game before, it will be a great way to get involved.”

There are also a Grassroots Festival and summer camps to be held on Tortola and the sister islands and National Squad Training for all age groups, both on Virgin Gorda and Tortola.

“Football is a great way to keep fit and also provides many opportunities for scholarships,” said Flax Charles. “We have already sent many kids away and the FA will continue to do so as well as send people to summer camps. We will also provide information to all who may not want to play or have finished playing but want to be a coach, a referee, or just volunteer to help on the various sub committees.”

Next up is that Women’s World Cup League, which sees teams representing those who are taking part in the Women’s World Cup, being held in Canada in June.

FIFA Vice-President to visit BVI


FIFA Vice-President and candidate for the Presidency, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, will be arriving in the BVI on Thursday 16th April, 2015. Photo: Provided

FIFA Vice-President and candidate for the Presidency, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, will be arriving in the BVI on Thursday 16th April, 2015. Photo: Provided

FIFA Vice-President and candidate for the Presidency, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, will be arriving in the Territory on Thursday 16th April, 2015, to make a courtesy call on the Premier, visit the site of the new stadium in East End and to meet with members of the BVIFA Executive and Officials.

Prince Ali, who back in January announced intentions to challenge long-tenured President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29, will visit the $3M project site on Friday morning and then, following a meeting with the Premier, Dr. Orlando D Smith, will spend some time at the BVIFA Head Office, talking with Executives, Officials and Coaches.

According to 1st Vice President, Aubrey Liburd, “This is a very important visit for the BVIFA as we are in the process of building the new stadium, and also for him to see what we are doing for football as an association and for the youths in the Territory. Also we are looking forward to hearing his vision for football in general and his plans or initiatives for the smaller FIFA Members such as ourselves.”

The BVIFA was finally given approval for the project, part of the FIFA Goal Programme, by the Development Committee at a meeting chaired by FIFA Vice-President, Issa Hayatou in the presence of the Chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, back in March 2014.

The project includes a 400 meter track field, regulation-sized football field with associated facilities, netball court/volleyball court, concession stands and over 200 parking spaces. There will also be the construction of an access road between the parking lot and stadium by Andy’s Car Wash.

In relation to contributions for the project, the BVIOC is expected to contribute $250,000 for the running track and the BVIFA will be funding $1M-$1.5M along with assistance in maintenance and profitability of the facility (football events, sponsorship/commercial activities).

BVI bows out of World Cup 2018 qualifiers


BVI in possession of the ball in first round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers vs Dominica but bows out 2-3. Photo: BVIFA

BVI in possession of the ball in first round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers vs Dominica but bows out 2-3. Photo: BVIFA

Needing to win by two clear goals after losing the “home” leg to Dominica, 3-2, the BVI were held goalless in the away leg at Windsor Park, Roseau, of the first round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and bowed out of the competition on Sunday evening.

The BVI started brightly and took full advantage of the space offered by the Dominica side that preferred to sit back and wait out the opening exchanges.

With a revamped line including switching James Shearman to right back and inserting Trevor Peters out wide on the right, the hosts were nearly made to pay for their hesitancy, firstly by Matthew Bell and then Karl Espley, who both saw half chances go begging.

Ever dangerous on the break, Dominica sounded alarm bells, with Julian Wade going close and Daniel Barker producing a finger tip save of the match to keep BVI hopes alive.

Early in the second half, with the game still in the balance, Peters just failed to get a touch ahead of the last defender, with the goal beckoning. Andy Davis also saw a shot scream just wide and Epsley also saw his effort go wide.

However, with the hosts now introducing Randolph Peltier, much to the crowds delight, the BVI were pushed back and thankful for more fine saves from Barker including a couple of one on ones with Peltier, a diving block to deny Wade and also another fine save from Sidney Lockhart.

On the night, a stalemate was a fair result and represented a tremendous performance from the BVI team. Coach Avondale Williams, whilst regretting the defensive errors that cost his team dear in the first leg, noted that he was proud of his team.

“It was very difficult to break down their defense but we battled hard, created a few good chances, but were unable to convert them,” said Williams. “Daniel Barker was very impressive and kept us in the game, especially as we pushed forward in the latter stages of the game. To go out of the competition is a bitter pill to swallow, but with the performance I believe we are on the right track to only get better and better as a team.”

Dominica’s Coach, Shane Marshall commented that his team grew into the game especially in the second half. “We started slowly, but in the second half began to knock the ball around, looked comfortable and had many shots on goal,” said Marshall. “Before we play Canada, we have to go back to the drawing board and work on our first touches, our crosses and our finishing.”

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.

Islanders conclude season unbeaten

 Akeem Hendrikson heads home a first half equalizer for the Sugar Boyz. Photo credit: Charlie E. Jackson

Akeem Hendrikson heads home a first half equalizer for the Sugar Boyz. Photo credit: Charlie E. Jackson

Islanders F.C. duly completed an unbeaten Premier League Season with a 3-1 win over the Ballstars on Sunday, whilst the Sugar Boys overcame a battling Wolues 3-2 to cement third place in the standings and give themselves a shot at finishing second.

The Islanders have already been crowned Champions following One Love forfeiting last Wednesday nights top of the table clash found themselves a goal down inside the first five minutes when stand in goal keeper, Fitzroy Daley made an elementary handling error inside his own box to gift the Ballstars a free kick, which was deflected by Ranalie Caine past the flapping Daley and inside the near post.

Just two minutes later though, the Islanders were level when McTair James was brought crashing down in the Ballstars box and Avondale Williams powered his spot kick straight past Troy Caesar.

The Islanders then went 2-1 up, in the 20th minute, following a long run by Noel Isaac, who slid the perfect ball into the path of Andy Davis and who, in turn, expertly chipped the ball over Caesar and into the empty net.

The second half saw the Islanders squander a lot of chances with several players guilty of over elaboration in front of goal and a lack of composure, but eventually Caines made it 3-1 in the 70th minute when presented with the simplest of tap ins.

The Wolues then played the Sugar Boyz and caught their defense still getting organized when Xavier Arnau Gili slotted home the opening goal in the second minute.

The same player had a chance to double the lead moments later, but his flicked effort went agonizingly wide of the far post.

However for much of the remainder of the first half it was a sea of Orange in the Wolues half as the Sugar Boyz piled on the pressure. Derol Redhead latched onto a through ball and should have at least hit the target. Wolues Keeper, Nick Messum, made a couple of flying saves from Jeunick Mingo, Roger Roberts and Redhead, but even he was powerless to prevent the equalizer in the 32nd minute when a pinpoint cross from Terry Nanthan was met with a bullet header by Akeem Hendrikson.

A sublime touch and first time pass from Nanthan put Roberts through on goal early in the second half and he made no mistake in sliding the ball past Messum to make it 2-1 to the Boyz.

Then a Robin Van Persie like looping header from Graeme Willis in the 47th minute made it 2-2, but 15 minutes later Roberts scored his second to restore his teams lead at 3-2.

As time ran out Redhead should have made it 4-2, but opted to pass rather than shoot and at the other end Jose Jiminez squandered an opportunity to give the Wolues what would have been a deserved point,

On Wednesday night, June 25th, One Love play the Ballstars in a Premier League encounter on the A.O. Shirley Ground at 7pm.

BDO Primary School League – Update

bdo3As action continued over on Virgin Gorda in the BVIFA / BDO Primary School Leagues this past Saturday, March 15th, 2014, the jockeying for the qualifying positions across all age groups continued.

In Under 7 Group A games the Seven Day Adventist School closed the gap, momentarily on Begrado Flax Educational Centre with a 2-0 win over Enid Scatliffe Red, courtesy of goals from Kevaugn Glasgow and Alex Leonard. However BFEC also recorded a 1-0 victory over Althea Scatliffe, thanks to an Amari Fannis strike, leaving them top with 21 points. SDA are second on 13 and ASPS have 10.

In Group B First Impressions Orange stay top despite being held 0-0 by Rainbow Primary and Robinson O’Neal Primary leapfrogged into second place on goal difference ahead of Montessori with a 2-0 over Cornerstone. Jaadon Quashie and Jeriek Samuel sealed the points, scoring within a minute of each other.

Montesorri beat St Georges 3-0 ( Sam Potgeiter, Sebastien Esser and an Own Goal) to leave themselves, Robinson O’Neal and Cornerstone all on 13 points with  just two goals, separating them, whilst FIPS Orange have 14 points.

In Under 9 Group A action Pelican Gate routed Rainbow Primary 6-0 with two goals apiece by Jaden Augustine, Requan Garraway and Jaidon Dabrea. St Georges, though, missed out on going into second place in the standings as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Rainbow.

Cedar Green stay top on 9 points, FIPS have 6, whilst St Georges are tied for third on 5 points with identical goal difference.

In Group B, the idle Cedar White remain in first place with 15 points although ASPS narrowed the gap to just 3 points with a resounding 5-0 win over Robinson O’Neal.

Two goals from Allen Martin saw him go top of the goal scoring charts in all age divisions with a total of 11 and further strikes came from D’Eandre Rogers, T’Quorey Regisford and Keshoy Martin.

BFEC also had a comfortable win, 3-0, over Ebenezer Thomas/Agape with Sheldon Toney netting a hat trick in the 5th, 12th and 14th minutes.

The sole game in the Under 12 division ended in stalemate between Cedar Blue and St Mary’s. The point sent St Mary’s into a tie on points for second place in Group A with Althea Scatliffe, who have a slightly healthier goal difference. Joyce Samuel Primary stays top with 10 points.