MARK RAMDEEN of Naparima College was named as the male Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) 2018 season.
For the first time, there were joint female MVPs as fellow Lower Six students Alexcia Ali and Jasandra Joseph, both of Pleasantville Secondary, claimed top honours.
The SSFL held its annual award ceremony yesterday, at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Couva.
The 18-year-old Ramdeen was a member of the Naparima team who captured the treble last season – Premier Division, South Zone Intercol and National Intercol titles.
“I felt really proud that I came out on top and I accomplished all that I wanted to accomplish in the year,” said Ramdeen.
The goals, which were set out by the Siparia resident, were “to be the MVP and to win every (title on offer).”
The midfielder was also involved with the national Under-20 team which participated in the CONCACAF Championships in Florida, United States last November.
“It was a great experience playing against different countries and against people that may be better than us,” said Ramdeen.
The diminutive Ramdeen credited the role played by Naparima coach Angus Eve in his development.
“He has made me become a more mature player. I used to run with the ball plenty but he (broke) it down a little bit and made me more effective on the field.”
Ramdeen, who is studying Physical Education and Information Technology, is eager to either pursue a football scholarship or become a professional player.
Ramdeen, schoolmate Levi Fernandez, John Paul Rochford (QRC), Kesean St Rose (St Augustine Secondary) and Keon Boney (St Benedict’s) were the top five male players of the year.
Ali and Joseph joined Afiyah Cornwall (Carapichaima East Secondary), Celeine Loraine (Signal Hill) and Klil Keshwar (Bishop Anstey) as the top female players of the year.
The petite 18-year-old Ali, formerly of Penal Secondary, was the star of the show in the Girls Intercol final, as she netted a hat-trick as Pleasantville whipped Signal Hill 3-0.
About her joint MVP award, the striker said, “It felt great, knowing all your hard work paid off. (The season) was different because it was the first time reaching this far (with) this great team.”
The Penal resident credited her uncle Anthony Rose for getting her involved in the sport. She said, “I’ll either like to go pro or on a scholarship.”
Joseph, who is called “Mama” by her teammates, said, “It felt great. It was a great season. This (was) my second season playing with Pleasantville.”
She is not content with the titles earned by her school this past season (National Intercol, South Zonal Intercol and South Zone Championship).
“I want to keep winning and (guiding) the young ones,” said the Gasparillo resident.
Like Ramdeen and Ali, the 20-year-old midfielder is eyeing either a professional deal or a football scholarship in the foreseeable future.
Former national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was the feature speaker at the event.
Honour Roll –
All Star Teams (schools in brackets) –
GOALKEEPERS: Emmanuel John (San Juan North), Jabari Grey (Presentation San Fernando), Jacob Camacho (Fatima), Levi Fernandez (Naparima).
DEFENDERS: Christian Ransome (Trinity East), Jeron Pantor (Naparima), Kareem John (San Juan North), Kerdell Sween (Trinity East), Raheim Jawahir (Trinity Moka), Tyrike Andrews (Naparima).
MIDFIELDERS: Dwight Yorke (Valencia), Haile Beckles (St Anthony’s), Isaiah Chase (San Juan North), John Paul Rochford (QRC), Jordan Riley (Presentation San Fernando), Josiah King (Carapichaima East), Mark Ramdeen (Naparima), Rivaldo Coryat (St Augustine), Zion McLeod (East Mucurapo).
STRIKERS: Dominique Lyons (Bishop’s High), Keon Boney (St Benedict’s), Kesean St Rose (St Augustine), Kevon Williams (Carapichaima East), Ronaldo Boyce (San Juan North), Tyrese Spicer (St Mary’s).
GOALKEEPERS: Afiya Carmichael (Tranquillity), Akayla Walcott (Pleasantville), Celine Logan (Point Fortin East), Klil Keshwar (Bishop Anstey).
DEFENDERS: Derisha Bristol (Signal Hill), Jhaney Simon (Pleasantville), Latifha Pascall (Pleasantville), Leah Massiah (Carapichaima East), Nathifa Hackshaw (Five Rivers), Shawnelle Rose (Pleasantville), Tyanna Williams (Bishop Anstey East).
MIDFIELDERS: Ashante Campbell (Signal Hill), Chrissy Mitchell (Pleasantville), Jalene Sobers (Bishop Anstey), Jasandra Joseph (Pleasantville), Kayla Baboolal (Valencia), Moenesha Meijas (El Dorado East), Shneice Maynard (Carapichaima East).
STRIKERS: Afiyah Cornwall (Carapichaima East), Alexcia Ali (Pleasantville), Celine Loraine (Signal Hill), Feliciay King (Tranquillity), Jada Gaskin (Five Rivers), Mia Mitchell (Five Rivers), Taliah Simon (Carapichaima).