ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Teams taking part in the Pigotts Bullets Seven-a-Side football tournament slated to commence on May 11 could walk away with thousands of dollars in monetary and other prizes.
This is according to one member of the organisation, Gershum Phillip, who revealed Monday that winning teams will get a piece of the $4,500 in prize monies that will be on offer throughout the competition which will also feature a female division for the first time.
The winning team in the male division will take home $2,000, with the runner-up getting $1,000; winners in the female division will get $1,000, and the second-placed team up $500.
The undertaking, according to Phillip, serves as an annual fund-raising effort for the club ahead of the domestic programme.
“In the past we’ve had difficulties finding sponsors, so we decided we would have an event because we have that nice location at the back of the field in Pigotts where we could have a good competition. So the purpose of it is to raise funds for the club and it’s the biggest one we have had for the club and that’s what we have been going off of,” he said.
“What makes it so exciting is that the goals are just a bit smaller than the regular size goals; there is no offside so you get more shots on goal and when there is an outside you can kick in or throw it directly to the goal,” Phillip added.
The former national youth player explained that although the tournament is designed to give players more freedom on the pitch where individual skills are concerned, strict rules will be enforced against aggressive tackling as they want to encourage players from all age categories to take part.
“We want discipline. We don’t want any tackles. So once you make a tackle, you can slide across. That’s not a tackle; but if you throw a deliberate tackle then that‘s an automatic green card. There are red cards and yellow cards as usual but you will get a green card for the tackle. So for the older folks who wouldn’t want the younger ones to tackle them, you can come out and play because there will be no tackling. If you tackle, you come off the field. You will be taken off for two minutes and your team will play down (a player) while the other team will have the advantage,” he said.
Coach of the Bullets team, Marlon York, encouraged the football fraternity to come out in support of the event.
“I just want to thank all the sponsors so far who are onboard with this seven-a-side competition and we want to tell the public to just come on out; come and have fun; clean fun on that day and come and register early; don’t want anybody to say they didn’t hear about what’s going on and we are just hoping that we have a successful tournament and everybody come out and support the community,” he said.
Participating teams will pay a registration fee of $20 per player in both the male and female categories. Registration can be done through Phillip at 725-8189 or with Jenny Phillip at 764-1522.