JFF, Sportmax Launches exciting U-18 Elite League

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017– Kingston, Jamaica: The Jamaica Football Federation and Caribbean cable broadcast giants, SportsMax, have announced today that there will be more competitive football for the nation’s top youth football talent with the launch of an all-island, parish based competition, the JFF/SportsMax Elite League. The competition will run from March 18th to May 27th, with matches played across the country and broadcast live on SportsMax2 each Saturday. At the conclusion, selected players will be invited to the Scotiabank Elite Development Academy for training with international coaches.

With $1Million in total prizes up for grabs, the JFF/SportsMax Elite League will be Jamaica’s premier youth football competition and sees 13 newly formed parish based teams, comprising of 325 of the best youth players on the island representing their parish from March 18 to May 27. Each parish team will include the top 25 players, selected by the parish associations, with at least 20 players being 18 and under and no more than 5 players between 18 & 20 years old. The winning team will pocket $500,000, second place $200,000 and $100,000 apiece to the losing semi-finalists. There will also be awards for Fairplay ($100,000) and the Most Valuable Player.

General Secretary of the JFF Raymond Grant believes the SportsMax Elite League augers well for the development of football in Jamaica, “The objective of the competition is to foster an increase in competitive matches at the highest level for our youth footballers as they improve their game and progress to the National Senior team and other professional/collegiate opportunities.”
He further stated at the launch that “the JFF has made a commitment to invest in local football so that it can serve as the foundation of our senior level players in the future.”

The Zonal competition, with teams divided into 2 groups of Eastern and Western Parishes, kicks off this Saturday, March 18 with a live TV double-header on SportsMax2 from the Tony Spaulding Complex as The Portland Blazers face KSAFA All Stars at 3:45pm, followed by the St. Mary Raiders v St. Thomas Cobras at 6pm. Other Games this Saturday include the St. Elizabeth Tigers vs Hanover Patriots at 1pm and Westmoreland Warriors vs Manchester Lions at 3:30pm both at Frome Sports Complex, while St. Catherine Saints will square off against St. Thomas Cobras at 1pm at Juici Park. The final match of the opening weekend is Clarendon Galaxy vs St. James United at Juici Park at 3:30pm. All matches in the first round are free to the public.

Representatives from the 13 parish teams of the inaugural JFF/SportsMax Elite League show off their kits at the competition press launch today at JFF head office

SportsMax will broadcast a total of 19 matches this season, 2 matches in each of the 8 zonal rounds from March 18 to May 13, as well as the semi-finals and final slated for May 20 and May 27, respectively. This represents a significant opportunity for our top youth footballers to be seen as SportsMax will air the matches across Jamaica and the Caribbean while sister channel, CEEN TV will provide coverage to the USA & Canada. Matches are also available on mobile through Digicel’s PlayGo app.

Tanya Lee, SportsMax Head of Marketing, shared the sentiment, “SportsMax has been instrumental in ensuring that local and international coverage of youth football continues to receive unprecedented international exposure. We started with our coverage of the Schoolboy football season in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, and see the SportsMax Elite League as a further opportunity to amass the best players at the high school level to match and enhance their skills playing in a structured, competitive competition over 3 additional months throughout the year. It’s a win-win for football development and our viewers and this is the best quality football you could arrange at the youth level.”

Associate sponsor, ScotiaBank will also conduct a development clinic, the ScotiaBank Elite Academy which will reward the playoff teams and selected stand-out players of the tournament with specialized training conducted by International Coaches.
The JFF/SportsMax Elite League is sponsored by SportsMax, Digicel, ScotiaBank, National Outdoor Advertising and The Jamaica Observer.

Round 1:  Mar 18 East  
Venue: Tony Spaulding Sports Complex
Double Header on SportsMax2
Portland Blazers v KSAFA All-Stars 3:45pm
St. Mary Raiders v St. Thomas Cobras 6:00pm
Venue: Manchester High  
St. Ann Giants v St. Catherine Saints 3:30pm


Round 1 Mar 18:  West  
Venue: Wespow Park
Clarendon Galaxy v Trelawny Barons 1:00pm
St. James United v Manchester Lions 3:30pm
Venue: Manchester High
Westmoreland Warriors v St. Elizabeth Tigers 1:00pm
BYE: Hanover Patriots

Image: SportsMax Head of Marketing Tanya Lee, Scotiabank Vice President of Marketing Yanique Forbes-Patrick and Jamaica’s National U-17 coach Andrew Edwards with the representatives from the 13 parish teams of the inaugural JFF/SportsMax Elite League at the competition press launch today at the JFF head office