The annual GTT National Indoor Hockey Championship commences at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) this Sunday, following its return to the international quality venue last year.
The Guyana Hockey Board and GTT have partnered once again – for the 18th year – to ensure the successful hosting of the championship.
This year’s tournament has expanded and will include a women’s second division competition for the first time in its history, which reflects the growth of the female side of the playing population.
Apart from the contesting clubs, a national male junior squad will compete in the men’s first division competition as ‘Supernova’, although it will not be eligible for the trophies.
The competition features five divisions which are the Men’s and Lady’s First Division, Men’s and Lady’s Second Division and Veterans (over-35).
Bounty GCC will face their toughest competition in recent years in the strengthened Old Fort Lamborghinis, which has been boosted by two of the top junior players: the skillful Omar Hopkinson and prolific goal-scorer Warren Williams.
In addition, previous three-time champions, the Pepsi Hikers, will be at full strength with their fantastic four: Robert France, Andrew Stewart, Jamarj Assanah and Aroydy Branford, all set to play.
Old Fort Top Form are holders of the men’s second division trophy and will be up against a powerful GCC Pitbulls side with several junior national players including Captain Kareem McKenzie and Meshach Sargeant. The Hikers Cadets and Hikers Young Guns, SHC Silencers and SHC Sensations along with Old Fort Rogue and Phoenix, round out a busy division.
The GCC Tigers have dominated this competition for the past 11 years and enters as the favourite to take the gold in the women’s first division. Leading all-time ladies goal scorer Sonia Jardine will be on show along with nationals Gabriella Xavier, Aliyah Gordon, Trisha Woodroffe and Marzana Fiedtkou in a star-studded line-up. The Tigers’ traditional arch-rivals, the Woodpecker Hikers, will be gunning for top spot with the likes of nationals Marisha Fernandes, Nicole Eastman and Latacia Chung.
Old Fort Team 2.1.2. has been improving steadily and many of their players would be fresh off their recent victory in the Noble House junior indoor championships. Minsodia Culpepper and Bushani Kaladeen will lead their effort. Saints and the Bingo Spartans feature the youngest sides in the division and will surely use their superior conditioning and quickness to create havoc among their senior rivals.
The newly introduced women’s second division competition will find GCC Spice as the favourite among their junior opponents of Old Fort Goal Chasers, Bingo Spartans and Woodpecker Hikers. This division will feature many of the outstanding junior players recently on show in the Noble House junior championships.
GCC Vintage are the double defending champions in the over-35 division which, once again, sees challenges from the Old Fort Mustangs and Antonio’s Hikers.
Matches start on Sunday, October 28 from 14:00hrs and the finals will be contested the following weekend.