TCIFA – Weston Cup Tournament, February 2017

This year the TCIFA entered 4 teams in the Weston Cup in South Florida. This is a prestigious competition hosting up to 600 teams of all age groups from all over the USA and the Caribbean region. Five British West Indies Collegiate students from Years 6 and 7 played in the 11-man Under 12 TCI team. Neil Coles was the senior coach, assisted by myself (Michael Connolly).

Since Christmas the team has practised up to 4 times a week in preparation; improving immeasurably, both individually and as a team. The Under 12 boys’ teams were organized into 3 group tables of 4 teams. Only the first placed team from each league, plus the best second place team, progressed to the semi-finals.

We arrived in Miami on Friday 17 February and played our first two games on Saturday. We won our first game 1-0 and our second game 2-1. Both were very tight and competitive, and although we started a little slowly, we grew into the games, counting on our superior team spirit and tactical awareness to see us through. We played our third group game on the Sunday, and after settling our nerves with an early goal, we went on to win 4-0.

Monday morning’s semi-final pitted us against a highly ranked team from the Florida League. In a very close game, we scored an early goal and looked to be going through until they scored an equalizer 15 seconds from the final whistle. It was then straight in to penalties! After 4 penalties, each team had scored 2 each, and our keeper, Zachary Scholar, had just saved their final penalty. Carson Greatrex then stepped up to calmly fire us in to the finals! To say the team (and all of the travelling parents) were ecstatic is an understatement!

The finals were played 4 hours later at a different location. We started brightly and scored 2 goals in the first half. We went on to score 2 more in the second half, which became a little tense in the latter stages when they themselves scored 2 late goals, leaving us tournament winners with a splendid 4-2 victory!

I would like to congratulate the team for becoming the first team in TCIFA history to win an overseas tournament. This bodes well for the future of BWIC football as most of this team is likely to join us within the next year. Special mention to our 5 players: Kyle Meehan, Sam Connolly, Vijay Kalliecharan, Harry Schofield and Joshua Saunders.