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Six star-studded Tigers teams for Grovy celebration tourney
Six teams comprising past stand-out players will challenge for bragging rights today when St Anthony’s College head coach Nigel Grosvenor celebrates 30 years at the helm, at Tigers’ Cooler Football Lime-Celebrating 30 years with Grovy, at the school’s ground, in Westmoorings, from 2 pm. The eight-a-side tournament, which features two groups of three, followed by a knockout round will feature players from each of the schools’ six National InterCol title-winning teams, starting from its first in 1997, which included the likes of current national defender/midfielder Carlos Edwards and Suriname-based forward Sean Cooper. Its latest title-winning team, from 2012, will also be present and represented by some of its most notable players, including Xavier Rajpaul, Keane McIvor and Jamali Garcia. Four other teams (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2011) won the national title between those years. The 2002 and 2011 title-winning teams will also be represented by their best players, while the 2003 and 2004 teams, which according to Grosvenor, comprised mostly the same players, will merge for one team. Finally, the sixth team which will challenge for bragging rights, will comprise a number of top players who never won the title, but came as close as the semifinal of the National InterCol competition.
That team is expected to field top players such as Westside’s Travis Joseph and former national players who represented T&T in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Egypt - Uriah Bentick, Mekeil Williams, Micah Lewis, and Grosvenor’s son Qian Grosvenor. Grosvenor, who joined the Tigers in 1983, currently holds positions of head coach of the first XI, a dean and a PE teacher. He is also a former National Under-17 coach and is the technical director of Westside Superstars, a National Super League team, which utilizes a number of former St Anthony’s College players.
Apart from winning six National InterCol titles during his tenure, Grosvenor has also won three Big-Five (league) titles. Among his achievements is leading the 2011 St Anthony’s team to the Big-Five and National InterCol title without dropping a single point. His team was the first team to do so and remains with the audacious record. The 2011 team comprised several players including Dwight Ceballo, Moriba Ballah and Raychard Allen, all of whom are carded to play today.
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. “They (the players) are always bragging about who had the best team, so this is their time to show who is boss,” said Grosvenor ahead of today’s reunion football festival. “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. Today, the annual football reunion event is expected to attract its biggest batch of former players.
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