STAG Elite League set to kick-off November 20 …six teams so far set to participate
A six-team STAG Elite League was launched today, with a new kick-off date now set for November 20, at the Demerara Cricket Club Ground, with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) stating that the “show much go on”.
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Fruta Conquerors, Topp XX, Victoria Kings, Monedderlust and Buxton United are teams registered to participate.
Defending Champions Slingerz FC and second place finisher Alpha United, who will represent Guyana at next year’s Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship; pulled out of the league and were joined by Pele and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC).
However, President of the GFF Wayne Forde said that every effort is being made to have a ten-team league, since “the GFF had written to the (four) clubs, asking them for a meeting, individually, and it is my hope that it will happen before registration closes on Friday (November 11)”.
Meanwhile, the league will an increase of $3M in prize money, with total of $18M being put up for grabs.
Ansa McAl is the league’s title sponsor, and, is the only returning sponsor from the first installation, with Marics Guyana Incorporated (Inc.), Camex Restaurants Inc. under their Church’s Chicken brand, the National Communications Network (NCN), EC Vieira Investments Limited, the Pan American Health Organization and Impressions Branding joining in.
President of the GFF Wayne Forde said that Ansa McAl should be praised for maintaining the relationship between the two entities as they share a common vision for the tournament and the discipline.
Forde further thanked the latest wave of sponsors for coming onboard to help elevate the championship to unprecedented heights, noting “the main objective of the event is player development”.
According to Forde, high quality coaching alongside financial remuneration will also have a “positive impact on player’s development”, declaring “We need all hands on deck to push the sport forward” from all the relevant stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Stag Beer Brand Representative Linden Henry said the importance of the event should not be understated, adding that the players will be the focus of the impending season as the inaugural year was fixated on the actual tourney.
Also, Romel Richmond, Marketing and Sales Manager of Marics Guyana Incorporated said “It’s a privilege to be a part of the event. We see this as an opportunity for youth development in country”.
Richmond declared “Football and sport is the driving force of the economy in any country”, stating by partnering with the federation, the company will be able to contribute in this regard. He further revealed that the company has donated a Honda XR 150cc motorcycle for the most valuable player (MVP) of the event.
Similarly, Chief Executive Officer of NCN Lennox Cornette said “NCN is really proud to be a part of the event. Elite suggest what we are aiming for and what is the long term objective, goal and vision”.
He added that football is rivaling cricket as the premier sport in the country as it is loved by many locals, affirming “I want to ensure that NCN partners fully with the league and we are looking to highlight players in many ways”.
According to Cornette, footballers have a life off the field and that he is pleased they will be compensated for their services, adding the event will provide a platform for Guyana to develop and that the company is grateful for the opportunity provided by the GFF.
Finally, Dawn Braithwaite, Director of Trading at Camex Restaurants said “We are pleased to be a part of the event and we assure you that we will continue in whatever way we can”. She further urged the GFF to focus on the academic aspect of player development, revealing “We don’t believe in only feeding hungry bellies but hungry minds”.