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Tigers celebrate 30 years with Grovy
Statistically the Secondary Schools Football League’s (SSFL) most illustrious coach, Nigel Grosvenor, will celebrate his 30th year in charge of St Anthony’s College, when many of his top former players reconvene for the Tigers’ Cooler Football Lime—Celebrating 30 years with Grovy, at the school’s ground, in Westmoorings, on Saturday. Former national Under-17 coach, a teacher and dean at St Anthony’s College as well as technical director of Westside Superstarz, a National Super League team which utilises some of his school’s former talents, Grosvenor, six-time winner of the National InterCol title and three-time Big-Five winner is expected to be honoured by dozens of his former players who will participate in an eight-a-side tournament, beginning at 2 pm. His first national title winning team in 1997, which included the likes of Soca Warrior Carlos Edwards and Suriname-based forward Sean Cooper will consist of the most senior participants, while a number of players from the latest winning team in 2012 will also attend. The latter team will include Jamali Garcia, Xavier Rajpaul and Keane McIvor.
Two years ago, St Anthony’s won every match in the SSFL and InterCol competitions en route to all available titles, a first for any school. The Tigers did so with the help of players such as goalkeeper Jammal Francois, captain Dwight Ceballo, Moriba Ballah and Raychard Allen, all of whom are expected to play. On paper, a certain team looks favourite to win the eight-a-side competition. The 2002 team features Williams, Manamar-based Yohance Marshall, former MLS player Julius James, and former national midfielder Kevon Neaves. Between 1997 and 2012, St Anthony’s won the National InterCol title four other times (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2011). A large portion of the players who played in the 2003 title-winning team, also played in the season immediately after when it won the National title for the third consecutive time. Therefore, a unified team was created between them. The sixth team to participate is a team which consists of some of the best players who never won the National competition, but reached as far as the semifinal stage. They include Westside’s Travis Joseph and former national players who represented T&T in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Egypt including, Uriah Bentick, Mekeil Williams, Micah Lewis, and Grosvenor’s son Qian Grosvenor.
“They will challenge as the best team, unofficially,” said Grosvenor. “They (the players) are always bragging about who had the best team, so this is their time to show who is boss.” “However, this is more than football. It will be, for me, nice to see them all together on one field. Whatever era they played in, I look forward to seeing them talking and reuniting after all these years.” Grosvenor said he remains with five official years left of teaching, but thoughts of retiring from football are far from his mind. “I have no thought of finishing (coaching),” said Grosvenor. “In fact,” he added, “the new format with the SSFL, the introduction of the Premier Division has given me a new challenge. It has revived my appetite. Before, it was getting quite monotonous, but the idea of consistently playing against the best teams in the country is exciting.” Such reunion activities started at least five years ago, according to Grosvenor. The idea of former players, challenging a current batch of players has expanded significantly within the past couple editions. This Saturday, the annual football reunion event is expected to attract its biggest batch of former players. He went on to profusely thank Justin Rahael, a former student of St Anthony’s College, who has supported the team via sponsorship from his company Jus Grillin Ltd. The coach has urged all past students and friends of the school to participate. There is no charge to enter. Alcohol will not be sold at the venue but coolers are allowed.
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