The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership is set to kick off on Wednesday, September 11, with record sponsorship of approximately TT$3 million in what is probably the fastest-rising high school football competition in the Caribbean.

For the first time in its history, Trinidad's SSFL will have five sponsors in major sponsor Digicel, Premiership title sponsors First Citizens Bank and Shell Trinidad & Tobago, Intercol title sponsor Coca-Cola, Malta Carib and sponsor/broadcaster SportsMax.

Outside of the major sponsors, the league is also benefitting from a number of other firsts.

President William Wallace stated that "this is the first time that the SSFL is benefitting from the addition of a gear sponsor, with Joma coming on board."

The increased level of sponsorship investment and increased coverage of the SSFL through broadcast on CNC-3 and SportsMax over the last two years has made it more attractive to different organisations around the Caribbean and worldwide.

President Wallace continued: "Of course, the presence of Joma has brought together ALL the the stakeholders, in the schools, the SSFL and the sponsors, which have agreed unanimously, for the first time, on uniformity across all jerseys for all participating schools in the Premiership.

Earlier this year, during the SSFL’s awards ceremony, one of the most famous footballing names out of Trinidad and Tobago, former national and English Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, was named the SSFL's ambassador sponsored by Digicel and SportsMax

The role means Hislop has been going around conducting clinics ahead of the competition’s start this year, as well as visiting schools to give inspirational addresses and serving as a mentor to the student athletes.

“I’m a product of the Secondary School’s Football League (SSFL).  I’ve always been a huge admirer of what it brings and what it offers to young men and women in the Trinidad and Tobago school system,” Hislop had said of his appointment earlier this year.

“I know how big a role it played in my own football development, so I’m more than happy to lend a hand in hopes that it can do the same for some of the others.”

Hislop will be watching keenly on Wednesday as a full slate of games kicks off the season, the big one for him, his alma mater St Mary's College up against last year's champion Naparima.

Shaka, like many in the Caribbean and around the world, will be able to take advantage of the innovative SportsMax App, which will be televising matches. If you are on personal computer, you may also watch your favourite teams at watch.sportsmax.tv.

Watching on the SportsMax app and on its website are additions to the broadcasts that will come from SportsMax, shown on its channel as well as on CNC3 and Ceen.

Olly McIntosh, President & CEO stated "The SSFL Premiership and Intercol now has 5 sponsors investing over TTD3M and a first time ever kit sponsor with uniformed jerseys. Matches are now broadcast on CNC-3 in Trinidad & Tobago and regionally and internationally on SportsMax. This is an incredible achievement by the SSFL over the last 4 seasons when Digicel and SportsMax became sponsors and the sponsorship for the competitions and exposure was much less. Glad all schools are on baord"

Defending champions Naparima College begin their campaign at their Lewis Street home against St Mary’s College, while runners up, Presentation College are away to Trinity College Moka.

In other games, San Juan North Secondary are at home to Pleasantville Secondary, St Benedict’s College take on Trinity East at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, while newcomers Malick Secondary go to Speyside Secondary, East Mucurapo play against Queens Royal College at Fatima and St Augustine Secondary are at home to St Anthony’s College. Carapichaima East Secondary are the team on a bye this week. All games begin at 3:30pm ECT.

 

SSFL Opening round schedule

 

San Juan North Secondary - Pleasantville Secondary @San Juan

St. Benedict’s College - Trinity East @Mannie Ramjohn

Speyside Secondary - Malick Secondary @Speyside

Trinity College Moka - Presentation College @Trinity Moka

East Mucurapo Secondary - Queens Royal College @Fatima

St. Augustine Secondary - St. Anthony’s College @St Augustine

Naparima College - St. Mary’s College @ Lewis Street

Carapichaima East Secondary – BYE

Naparima College have begun the Trinidad and Tobago schoolboy football season this year much in the same way they ended it last year, with silverware.

The Digicel Cup is there’s but it wasn’t easy going at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, the Secondary Schools Football League defending champions having to handle the nerves that come from lining up in front of the penalty spot after a shoot out against perennial rivals, Presentation College.

Presentation College opened the scoring in the second minute through an Ash Jacobs penalty.

A mix-up between goalkeepers and defenders would soon return parity to the scores and despite chances at both ends, there were to be no further additions to the scoreline.

Naparima College were perfect from the spot with man-of-the-match, Kern Cedeno setting the tone with the first penalty.

In fact, Cedeno would put Naparima up 1-0 in the shoot out after Jacobs missed the first penalty from Presentation.

That lead would never be relinquished with Vashaun Duncan, Thompson, Declan Marcel, and Jabari Lee all showing nerves of steel.

Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) ambassador Shaka Hislop has encouraged athletes to first and foremost enjoy the sport of football.

The 50-year-old former national player turned television pundit, is himself a former alumnus of the SSFL where he competed for St Mary’s College.  The former Newcastle goalkeeper has been brought on board this year to serve as an inspirational source and lodestar for players taking part in this year’s competition.

“That’s what I would continue to encourage everybody who plays, play because you enjoy it and you’ll see where your talent takes you. Don’t focus on what one person is doing because that’s an entirely different story, they have their own unique path,” Hislop told the T&T Newsday.

With several young players focused on Europe, Hislop also advised youngsters to look further home where the North American league could be a viable option.

“It continues to be a viable alternative.  You can also come through the secondary school level (in TT) to get into college football. I played because I enjoyed the game. I didn’t think I would have ever played professional, that came as I grew and developed.”

Beginning the final day a point back of defending champions, Presentation College, Naparima College handled their business to claim the 2018 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) title. 

Bishop’s High School will not be part of the Secondary Schools Football League’s Premiership Division next season after their 11th loss this season ensured relegation. 

San Juan North Secondary were shocked by St Augustine Secondary, the 4-1 loss forcing them to lose ground in their bid to overtake Secondary Schools Football League Premiership Division champions, Presentation College. 

Naparima College have continued to find winning tough in the wake of pressure at the top of the Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division after a third successive draw. 

Defending Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership division champions, Presentation College, extended their lead atop the tables after a  2-1 win away at St Augustine on Saturday. 

Defending Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership Division champions, Presentation College are now two points clear at the top of the table after Naparima College stumbled at Trinity College East on Matchday Eight. 

Queen’s Royal College (QRC) and St Mary’s College (CIC) have been part of a Northern derby in the Secondary Schools Football League now for what seems like forever, but the two teams aren’t just looking to get one over on each other when they meet today. 

Presentation College’s lead atop the Secondary Schools Football League Premiership Division is just down to goal difference now after the defending champions dropped two valuable points in an away 1-1 draw with the Queen’s Royal College (QRC). 

Defending Secondary Schools Football League Premiership division champions, Presentation College, have remained perfect, winning by their biggest margin of victory this season over newcomers Valencia Secondary. 

Defending Secondary Schools Football League’s Premiership Division champions, Presentation College have continued their hot start to the 2018 season with a comfortable 3-1 win over St Benedict’s College at home. 

With last week’s leaders St Anthony’s College on a bye, defending Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division champs, Presentation College took full advantage to take the lead in the 2018 tournament with a hard-fought win over St Mary’s College (CIC). 

Defending Secondary Schools Football League Premiership Division champions, Presentation College have remained perfect from two games but still find themselves second in the standings after an equally fast start by challengers, St anthony’s College. 

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