Amid much fanfare and expectation, the 10th season of the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Championship commenced yesterday with the launching of the West Demerara/East Bank Demerara tournament at the Banks DIH Limited conference room.
The 5th edition of the sub-meet which kicks-off tomorrow at the Pouderoyen Tarmac, will consist of 16 teams battling in an initial round-robin format.
The top two finishers from each group will advance to the quarterfinal round.
Group-A of the event features three time defending champion Showstoppers, Boom-Bang, Up-Top Ballers and Up-Like-7, while group-B comprises Dream-Team, Brothers United, Genna and ESPN.
Group-C consists of West Side Ballers, Phoenix Ballers, Jetty Gunners and rising Stars, while group-D contains Agricola, Bagotstown Warriors, Ballers Empire and Young Ballers.
Lee Baptiste, Guinness Brand Executive praised the communities, teams, fans and media for their continued contribution, declaring that their efforts have made the tournament a staple and phenomenon on the annual calendar.
According to Baptiste, the fact that the brand has been directly involved in the promotion of street football, is testament to Banks DIH Limited’s commitment to the communities.
He revealed that the decision to move Georgetown Zone, traditionally played in the November/December period to June, was done as a means of compacting the season and creating a sustained momentum heading into the national championship for the players and fans.
Baptiste opined that while the decision did disappoint many patrons and players who grew accustomed to the excitement of the event during the Christmas period, the organizers are working on the possibility of staging an historic national league during that period.
He revealed that more details will be discussed and made public shortly on competition, while thanking prominent partner Colours Boutique for their continued support in making the event a success.
Meanwhile, Colours Boutique representative Creanna Damon declared that the company is proud to be a partner in the staging of the tournament, declaring that the entity is committed to the Guinness Brand and the staging of the event under any circumstance.
The Robb Street clothing enterprise will supply the 16 teams with branded uniforms featuring numbers on the back of the shirts. This will eliminate the need for playing vests, as the organizers aim to raise the overall standard and quality of the event.
In the opening match, Up-Top Bosses will oppose Boom Bang from 19:00hrs, while Brothers United engage Genna at 19:30hrs and Phoenix Ballers tackle Jetty from 20:00hrs.
The fourth match will pit Bagotstown against Young Ballers from 20:30hrs, while Agricola lock horns with Ballers Empire from 21:00hrs and ESPN matches skills with Dream Team at 21:30hrs.
In the final two matches, Rising Stars oppose West Side Ballers from 22:00hrs and three time defending champion Showstoppers battle Up-Like-7 at 22:30hrs.
Winner of the event will collect $500,000 and a trophy, while the runner-up will receive $250,000 and the corresponding accolade.
The third and fourth place teams will pocket $200,000 and $100,000 respectively and a trophy. The other playing dates are January 25th, February 1st, 6th, 8th, with the final pencilled for the 15th.