(GNFC) – If skillball (more commonly known as futsal) is about honing football skills in a faster game on a smaller pitch and with fewer players, then the Cool and Smooth Youth Skillball League is also about bringing to the fore the management, organizational and coaching skills of some of the teams which come to the Volleyball Arena with a complete youth outfit, from manager to coach to players. In this regard, teams like Ghetto All Stars, who head the U13 point standings, and Villa Lions, leaders in U16, stand out.
Whereas the aforementioned might check the box for development, in keeping with one of the foundational principles of Generation Next which spearheads the initiative, there is also participation, evidenced Saturday by the Villa Lions U13 squad. With a bevy of players from which to choose just five, the young coach made constant subs to give most of the players a chance.
Then there is the other principle of participation, as seen by the players’ reaction. This is best borne out in the players from teams from the Gray’s Green area, who are at the arena from opening at 9 am until closing past 8 pm, whether their division is playing or not.
“If this league is able to positively engage young football enthusiasts, whether they are playing or spectating, and teach them team work, cooperation and let them put their abilities on display, then even without referring to the point standings, we can say that we are realizing success – and, by the way, the games are competitive and exciting,” said Generation Next CEO Richard “Ricky” Santos.
“We even had an issue this weekend, with the head referee being particularly vocal and very reluctant to blow on matches in which the teams were not in uniform. While we understand his concern, we also want to build bridges and not create barriers to inclusion, so we insisted that the games must go on. We have, however, informed the teams that they must be uniformed from next week, even if that is as basic as wearing the same colors,” Santos added.
Insofar as play is concerned, Villa Lions (U16), Ghetto All Stars (U13), New Generation FC (U11) and Generation Next FC A (U9 and U7) head the point standings after three weeks of play.
In addition to title sponsors Cool and Smooth, other sponsors are Antigua Masonry Products, Skinique Rejuvenation and Weight Loss Center and benefactor The Maria Holder Memorial Trust Fund. The league is endorsed by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA).
Participating teams are Big Dan Click FC; Five Islands; GNFC A and GNFC 1; Ghetto All Stars; New Generation FC; Trinity FC; Tamo FC; Unruly Boss FC; Villa Lions FC; Willikies FC; and Young Warriors FC.