Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the participation of four teams, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) officially launched the second season of the Stag Beer Elite League yesterday at the entity’s headquarters.
The event which will be played on a two round basis, will commence on November 20th, at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground, and comprises of six competing teams, after Alpha United, Slingerz FC, Pele and Georgetown Football Club (GFC) officially withdrew.
The participants are Buxton United, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Fruta Conquerors, Monedderlust FC, Topp XX and Victoria Kings. Fixtures are expected to be drafted shortly, with the registration period for the four boycotting teams slated to close today.
Total prize monies for the championship is GY$18,000,000, an increase from the first season’s winnings of GY$15,000,000. The newest sponsors to join the event are Marics Guyana Incorporated (Inc.), Camex Restaurants Inc. under their Church’s Chicken brand, the National Communications Network (NCN), EC Vieira Investments Limited, the Pan American Health Organization, and Impressions Branding.
President of the GFF Wayne Forde said that Ansa McAl should be praised for maintaining the relationship between the two entities as they share a common vision for the tournament and the discipline.
Forde further thanked the latest wave of sponsors for coming onboard to help elevate the championship to unprecedented heights, noting “the main objective of the event is player development”.
According to Forde, high quality coaching alongside financial remuneration will also have a “positive impact on players’ development”, declaring “We need all hands on deck to push the sport forward” with all the relevant stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Stag Beer Brand Representative Linden Henry said the importance of the event should not be understated, adding that the players will be the focus of the impending season, as the inaugural year was fixated on the actual tourney.
Romel Richmond, Marketing and Sales Manager of Marics Guyana Incorporated said, “It’s a privilege to be a part of the event. We see this as an opportunity for youth development in country.”
Richmond declared, “Football and sport is the driving force of the economy in any country”, stating by partnering with the federation, the company will be able to contribute in this regard. He further revealed that the company has donated a Honda XR 150cc motorcycle for the most valuable player (MVP) of the event.
Chief Executive Officer of NCN Lennox Cornette said “NCN is really proud to be a part of the event. Elite suggests what we are aiming for, and that is the long term objective, goal and vision”.
He added that football is rivaling cricket as the premier sport in the country, as it is loved by many locals, affirming, “I want to ensure that NCN partners fully with the league, and we are looking to highlight players in many ways”.
According to Cornette, footballers have a life off the field, and that he is pleased they will be compensated for their services, adding the event will provide a platform for Guyana to develop, and that the company is grateful for the opportunity provided by the GFF.
Finally, Dawn Braithwaite, Director of Trading at Camex Restaurants said, “We are pleased to be a part of the event, and we assure you that we will continue in whatever way we can.” She further urged the GFF to focus on the academic aspect of player development, revealing, “We don’t believe in only feeding hungry bellies but hungry minds”.