Region One added to GFF-Thunderbolt Flour Power U-17 League


When the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Thunderbolt Flour Power National Under-17 League 2022 kicks off in just over a week, the foundation for the further development and exposure of youths will be further strengthened.

Details of the longest strategic partnership between the GFF and a corporate entity were unveiled between the National Milling Company of Guyana (NAMILCO) and the Federation on Saturday at the National Training Centre when GFF President, Wayne Forde and Finance Controller of NAMILCO Fitzroy McLeod updated the media on plans for this year’s Intra-Association Leagues.

Also attending the function were the GFF Assistant Technical Director Brian Joseph and Marketing Supervisor of NAMILCO, Alicia Anderson.

Like the previous edition, the nine Regional Associations of the Federation would be competing within their respective jurisdictions with the top team set to earn a place in the National Playoffs.

GFF President Forde announced that Region One (Barima-Waini), where work is actively going on to make the 10th Regional Association, would be added for the first time, noting that it would be a historic achievement.

In his feature remarks, McLeod posited that this is the continuation of the company’s commitment towards the empowerment of youth through sports and their deliberate effort to contribute positively to the Guyanese society.

From left: NAMILCO Financial Controller Fitzroy, GFF President Wayne Forde and NAMILCO Marketing Supervisor Alicia Anderson

Players were encouraged to make this opportunity worth the while.

“We certainly are buoyed by the experiences that we’ve had in the past. So, we look forward to continued success and continued growth. On behalf of the management and staff, we certainly ask that you youngsters, in who we’re making this investment, you not only work hard and acquit yourselves of these opportunities, but you will also conduct yourselves in a way that brings credit to the tournament, to the teams, and to your communities,” McLeod said.

President Forde, in complimenting NAMILCO for its commitment to football development, gave some background to the partnership.

He mentioned the likes of national players Jeremy Garnett, Omari Glasgow, who has signed a two-year contract with Chicago Fire in the MLS, Ryan ‘Bum Bum’ Hackett, and many others, are products of NAMILCO’s investment.

“When my executive came into office in late 2015, we engaged with the Managing Director Mr. Bert Sukhai, Finance Controller Mr. Fitzroy McLeod, and Head Engineer Ralph Hemsing at NAMILCO, and we shared with them the direction that we wanted to take Guyana’s football,” Forde recalled.

“That direction had a strong emphasis on youth development, and I am convinced as I was then and even now, that that resonated very well with the leadership of the National Milling Company. Thereafter, we saw the birth of the first youth development, nationwide Intra-Association league that was launched by my administration in partnership with the National Milling Company of Guyana.”

Meanwhile, the hosting of the GFF-Thunderbolt Flour Power National Under-17 League coincides directly with Guyana’s upcoming participation in the Concacaf Boys’ Under-17 championship set for Florida, next August.

GFF Assistant Technical Director Brian Joseph alluded to the fact that this League will provide direct benefits for the national set-up.

“This NAMILCO championship gives our boys a great opportunity to have some game time in their legs. It gives us also, an opportunity to be able to scout additional players across the country so that we can strengthen our team. Regional Associations will relish the opportunity to have their clubs in competition mode in order to cash in on the opportunities.” (GFF)

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