ST GEORGE’S - The highly anticipated Grenada Pure Cup got underway on the weekend, signaling a new era of national football competition and giving rise to development hopes in the Eastern Caribbean territory.
In Saturday’s opening matches, St Mark Western Stars clipped St Patrick Crown City Strikers 2-1 and St David Top Strikers toppled Carriacou and Petite Martinique Maroons 4-0.
On Sunday, St George’s Royal Canons and St Andrew Big Parish Stars drew 0-0, while it finished 2-2 between St John Dolphins and National Under-20 Young Gunners.
After months of pulling all the key stakeholders together on the ground-breaking tournament, Grenada Football Association (GFA) President Cheney Joseph was delighted to get the proverbial ball rolling.
“We are excited at the outcome and from early indications, fans, players and corporate Grenada are enjoying it. We had a splendid start this weekend and look forward to the next seven weeks,” he told concacaf.com.
After skillfully navigating private and government sectors, plus the noticeably increased support from Concacaf, the GFA was able to pull off the eight-week football spectacle.
“The increased investments of the One Concacaf Program and FIFA Forward in Member Associations must translate into major development of football in our islands.
“The staging of the Pure Grenada Cup is one such area where the best talents across the country have a platform to display their skills and athleticism while vying for a spot in the Concacaf Nations League,” Joseph said.
He said the occasion of the Pure Grenada Cup adds significantly to the growing portfolio of the island’s football, which recently engaged a new senior national men’s coach in a familiar figure in former ‘Spice Boy’, Shalrie Joseph.
“The timing of such an event is very important since it also coincided with the appointment of our new senior men's team coach, Shalrie Joseph,” stated the GFA boss.
The Pure Grenada Cup undoubtedly presents a unique opportunity for talent exposure on a national scale for players across the length and breadth of the country, including Carricaou, a small island off the mainland.
In fact, this will be the first time players from this nation will be involved in organized national competition. The Pure Grenada Cup is being contested by seven parish teams, including Carricaou, and the national Under-20 squad.
It is expected that this eight-week show will greatly assist the national selectors towards their scouting endeavors ahead of the kick off of the recently announced Concacaf Nations League.
In additional support, Concacaf’s Caribbean development office staged a workshop for security and match operations for club officials last Friday and Saturday in St George’s, the Grenadian capital.