News

GBFL Soccer season underway at long last

After months of haggling the Island’s adult football season is now underway . Oh happy days !

The women’s league currently comprises 3 teams : The Club’s Freeport Jetwash, Town and Country Predators and Coca Cola .

The men’s league comprises 4 teams the Club’s Freeport FC , The club’s youth team Brita Red Bull, Chelsea FC ( the Hayshun team) and Insurance Management Lions ( the jarmaykarns)

After 2 games in the men’s division , Our old guys are joint top after a stunnning 2 nil victory over Chelsea. An own goal and Jimmy Fingers doing the damage in a sterling performance . The youngsters disappointingly lost 3 :1 to the Lions in a game they should have won but defensive errors in the first half proved costly .

Sunday sees the top two ( Freeport FC and Lions) battle out at the rugby club field at 3.30pm with the Red Bull’s taking on Chelsea in the first game at 1.30pm

In the only women’s game so far, perennial champions dispatched our plucky ladies 3 goals to nil in an ominous display. Next women’s fixtures are Sunday 12th

Full fixtures are below:

GBFL FIXTURES – FIRST ROUND

January 22nd

Town and Country Predators 3 Freeport Jetwash 0

Brita Red bulls 1 Insurance Management 3

January 29th

Chelsea FC 0 Freeport FC 2

February 5th @ Freeport Rugby Club

1.30pm Brita Red Bulls v Chelsea FC
3.30pm Insurance Management v Freeport FC

February 12th @ YMCA

1.30pm Town and Country v Coca Cola
3.30pm Insurance Management v Chelsea

February 19th @ Rugby Club

1.30pm Freeport Jetwash v Coca Cola
3.30pm Brita Red Bulls v Freeport FC

Youth Soccer Intermediate League Starting Up

INTERMEDIATE SOCCER LEAGUE TO COMMENCE IN GRAND BAHAMA

Organizers of the successful Grand Bahama Youth Football Development Programme have announced they are to start a new youth Intermediate Soccer League in order to cater for male youth soccer players aged 14 to 17.

The new Intermediate League (I league) will play every Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Freeport Rugby Football Club for male players aged 14 to 17. In order to attract the Islands youngsters and get the I League underway, there will be no registration fee for players in this first season.

The GB Youth Football Development Programme started in 2001 and already coaches up to 80 players aged between 8 to 20 on a weekly basis. Organiser Mark Hardy explained that previously the Programmes aim was simply to coach players and improve their skills without necessarily playing in a league set up. He has observed, however, that there is a continual loss of talent of players once they hit the age of 15 and 16 as there is no league for them to play in. This trend has been noted before but Hardy is particularly concerned now as a number of the players who started with him at the age of 10 are now at a stage where there is no competitive soccer on a regular basis. Consequently a number of these players take up other interests and pursuits and leave the sport.

He added that Originally our aim was simply to get youngsters playing soccer and this has been successful. Our Wednesday night programme contains a large number of younger players aged up to 13. Indeed we also have a thriving group of 18 to 20 year olds who now play in the adults Grand Bahama Football League . There is a big gap, however, in the middle with boys aged 14, 15 ,16 and 17 . This is an age where adolescence kicks in and they start getting other interests and unfortunately there is currently no league where boys aged 14 to 17 are able to play at their own level. Thus even if they are keen to play soccer there is little opportunity for them. Currently we have to play them with 12 or 13 year olds or throw them in with the adults in the mens league. The latter course of action works with some players but Hardy believes this is not the right course of action in most cases noting The womens (GBFL) teams are very successful in bringing in younger players into the adult football (from the Girls Development programme) as the game is not as physical as the mens soccer; however this is not really feasible with mens soccer, where you cannot put a 15 year old boy up against a 30 year man .Two of our best football prospects Dominic Adams and Kasey Charlton both started playing in the mens league when they 14 but ideally I would prefer players of that age to play with their peers as far as possible. Consequently we are looking to work with the YMCA League and the GBFL to build a league which will act as a stepping stone from childrens football to the senior adults league so the youngsters can continue to play the game and improve their skills.

The new I league will play every Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm at the Freeport Rugby Football Club for male players aged 14 to 17. Hardy said that, for the first few weeks, they will simply mix up the players into teams each week but, by the end of February, the I League should be up and running with at least 4 teams. Hardy is also asking any local adult players who are interested in coaching to come out and assist in the coaching process adding that, as a member of the GBFL executive committee himself, he will be approaching all the GBFL Mens teams to ask for assistance. We have to get all the mens teams to work with the youngsters for the development of the sport in general and the good of the GBFL league. Currently only Freeport FC (from Freeport Rugby Football Club ) actively coach the youngsters and this has to change. Any prospective players , coaches or sponsors should contact Mark Hardy at 357 5403 or come to Freeport Rugby Club on Wednesday.

Ps I am not a divvy ( at least as far as it comes to english grammar) – reason there are so few punctuations is because they show up strangely when published !

Freeport vs. Baillou (Freeport)


See all 78 photos by Mark Da Cunha from the Freeport vs. Baillou match (Freeport) – 28 January 2006.

Youth Soccer

Grand Bahama Youth Soccer Development Programme

Boys Youth Soccer Development Programme to kick off at 5pm Wednesday January 11th at Freeport Rugby Football Club

The Grand Bahama Boys Youth Soccer Development Programme resumes on Wednesday, January 11th at Freeport Rugby Football Club following the disruption arising from Hurricane Wilma. Co-coordinator Mark Hardy explained that as a result of floodlight damage at the Club, they were unable to accommodate all the youngsters in the months running up to Christmas and had to focus solely on Under 20 age group only . These repairs have now been made and the Programme is now ready to resume for all age groups (11 and under, 13 and under, 15 and under, 16 and over) with the coaches aiming to continue building on their steady progress since the Programmes inception four years ago.

The objective of the programme is to implement a framework for youth soccer on the island so that organized soccer can be played and appropriate coaching is available for all players from the age of 8 to the age of 19, at which point they become part of the GBFL programme.

The Programme aims to do this by supporting and working hand in hand with the YMCA League and Primary School and High School Competitions. We encourage all interested youngsters to play soccer at their school and participate in the YMCA soccer league. It is our intention that the Development Programme can then identify the best players at each age group and offer them additional and higher level coaching through experienced, qualified coaches.

As well as practicing on a Wednesday where their soccer skills are improved and their techniques honed, the Programme aims to arrange matches against US and other Bahamian teams and local teams and arrange tournaments. Already games have been arranged against visiting teams from the Bahamas and the US and it is hoped that all 4 age groups will either travel to Nassau or Florida for a tournament this season.

Last season proved to be a successful one with over 80 youngsters coming out on a weekly basis to participate in the programme. Highlights included:

1 Hosting teams from Abaco and the USA

2 A successful trip to Nassau by the Under 19s who stunned their New Providence rivals with two emphatic victories against their fellow counterparts

3 Involvement in the hugely successful Summer Youth Soccer Camp involving 180 participants in conjunction with the English Premier League , Freeport Rugby Football Club and their fellow Girls Youth Development Programme

4 Commencement of an Under 11 programme as a result of the large number of young players coming out

To begin with the coaches are encouraging all interested players to come out on Wednesday; however it is the intention that, within a month or so, the numbers will be pruned as the coaches select the best players in each age group. It is planned that the following 4 age groups will be coached on a weekly basis (either once or twice a week dependent on age):

11 and under, 13 and under, 15 and under, 16 and over

Programme Director Mark Hardy noted that the team of coaches wanted to take the Programme to the next level and had the following plans for the new season:

1 To continue the 4 current age groups and to include some even younger players in the 7, 8 and 9 year old age group (coaches permitting).

2 To aim that each age group hosts at least 1 team from the other Bahamian Islands or the USA whilst also trying to have each team travel to their play teams in Nassau, Abaco or the USA. Indeed, the Programme hopes to be able to announce some exciting news in this area in the forthcoming weeks

3 Help in the development by Freeport Rugby Football Club of at least 1 additional floodlit training pitch

4 To develop a framework and pathway by which young soccer players can obtain soccer scholarships in US Schools and Colleges

5 Expand the Programme to the Western End of the Island with practice sessions and matches to encourage the development of the youngsters in this hotbed of football

Fellow coach Brad Bethel added that they are aiming that the programme continues to grow but with expansion comes the problem of the need for additional resources. Primarily we need additional coaches and assistants so that we can provide the individual attention and coaching that is needed. In addition, as the Programme does not charge its participants, they are also asking the business community to support the Programme and the parents to offer a donation to the Programme. Any persons interested in helping in coaching or assisting financially can contact Mark Hardy at 357 5403 or come to Freeport Rugby Football Club from 5pm every Wednesday

Coach Husseyin Dengizer noted that he was particularly pleased that the programme, which is now in its fourth year, appears to be paying dividends. The Bahamian youngsters coming through at age 13 and 14 really have some talent and we can see the improvement compared to the boys of the same age when we first started four years ago. This is a direct result of the respective youth programmes, the increased emphasis on soccer within the school system and the Annual Soccer Summer Camp.

If you want to be part of the action or simply want to see what is going on then come to Freeport Rugby Football Club every Wednesday starting January 11th at 5pm or contact Mark Hardy at 357 5403.

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