December 12, 2014
‘Hope International aspiring to greater things’ – Roddy Dowers

Winning the premiership of the 2014 Hairoun Beer National Football Club Championships is just part of the ambitions of Guardian General Hope International.{{more}}

For the club’s longstanding manager – Roddy Dowers, although he relishes the win, pictures a more holistic developmental approach.

“We put a lot of emphasis in player development… Winning local tournaments is good, but sending out players is what is most important,” Dowers reasoned.

In recent times, Hope International has had Marlon James, Cornelius Huggins and Cornelius Stewart procuring semi-professional contracts overseas.

James has had stints in Malaysia and Canada, while Huggins plied the trade in Malaysia. Stewart has gone to Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and most recently- Finland.

Dowers noted that whilst the $10,000 winners’ cheque would be welcomed by the club, it would merely be to defray cost of competing in the tournament.

“We have players from North Windward, from North Leeward and from Bequia, and it costs us a lot to get them to the matches, plus injuries and other expenses,” Dowers contended.

But savouring last Sunday’s win at the Victoria Park, Dowers noted that until the last match of the preliminary round of the championships, his club was not certain of making it to the last eight.

Hope International got into the Super Eight as it is called, on the basis of a superior goal differential over Je Belle.

During the prelims, Hope International suffered losses against Je Belle, System Three and SV United, earned wins versus North Leeward, Bequia, and Toni’s Stores and drew with Avenues.

“I always said once we get into the Super Eight, we would be difficult to beat,” Dowers confirmed.

In reaching the Super Eight, Hope International won all seven matches.

Hope had a 4-0 win over Sion Hill, defeated Campdonia – Chelsea 1-0 and inflicted a 3-0 beating on Avenues. These went along with a 3-1 win over Toni’s Stores and 2-1 defeats of GTM Prospect and Parkside Rollers.

The icing was put on the cake last Sunday night at the Victoria Park, when Hope International confirmed their hold on the championships, blanking Comsports System Three 2-0.

Goals on either side of the halves from Sean Glynn and Cornelius Stewart gave Hope International, what tuned out to be a comfortable win.

For Dowers, it was a crowning moment for new coach — Kenson Stoddard in his debut season.

As recently as last year, Stoddard was a player.

Docking in second behind Hope International was Campdonia – Chelsea, who recorded a 7-4 triumph over Avenues also on Sunday. Tevin Slater scored three goals; Deomaji Samuel- two and one each came from Antonio Davis and Juma Gilkes. Avenues’ goals came from Myron Samuel – three and Romano Snagg, the other.

Campdonia – Chelsea finished on 18 points, having lost one match throughout the championships. System Three ended on 15 points, to place third, while three-in-a-row champions (2010, 2011 and 2012), Avenues tallied 10 points, the same as Sion Hill.

Avenues placed fourth on a better goal difference over fifth place Sion Hill.

Toni’s Stores, Prospect and Parkside Rollers, all had one win and three points to their credit.

They finished in that order, according to goal difference.(RT)