The National Milling Company (NAMILCO) yesterday injected a whopping five million dollars worth of sponsorship into the 7th Annual NAMILCO/Fruta Conquerors Football Festival which is expected to kick off March 28. The official handing over of the sponsorship cheque along with brief remarks from the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Christopher Matthias, Fruta Conquerors Football Club President Wayne Forde, Managing Director of NAMILCO Bert Sukhai, Director of Sports Neil Kumar and NAMILCO’ Finance Controller Fitzroy McLeod was held at the Park Rayne Entertainment Center, Rahaman’s Park, East Bank Demerara.
McLeod explained that he was happy with the seventh annual staging of the tournament and hoped
that the teams and players alike will work and play under the FIFA mantra and one which the competition rightfully adopted, “One Love”.
Meanwhile, Matthias congratulated the club for showing responsibility and the character which allowed them to maintain a position of favor and trust with their sponsors, while deeming them as one of the better organised football clubs in Guyana.
He further commended the club for its “Transparency, Accountability, Solvency and Sustainability” which has allowed them to see their sponsorship growing from 1.7 million back in 2007 to an excess of 5 million presently in 2014.
Recognizing that the sport needs to focus on a junior level where players can further evolve into the senior fold such as what is done in cricket, Kumar stated that with a youth tournament in effect a reservoir can be formed where young players can hone their skills and someday represent Guyana in future World Cups. His cry for a youth level of football was answered when Sukhai hinted that talks are currently ongoing with the GFF in order to have the youth level officially established for the betterment of the sport.
Forde expressed his gratitude towards NAMILCO for the continued support over the years and stated that the transparency which they represent was a formula which has worked for the club over the years. He admitted that his club has been handling its affairs in a professional manner and urged other clubs to forge relationships with other entities which will help them to form good relationships together.
16 clubs from five sub-associations will battle in a straight knock-out tourney with; Pele, Buxton United, Santo FC, Campton, GDF, Slingers FC, New Amsterdam and Alpha “The Hammer United FC as the defending champions being some of the teams involved.