POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith wants the Commissioner’s Cup to discover new football talent in this country when the tournament kicks off in July.
The tournament’s mission is also to develop camaraderie among communities throughout TT.
The Commissioner’s Cup will be an Under-17 age group tournament played from July to August and is expected to feature 46 police youth clubs. Exceptional players in the competition will be selected and organisers will try to help them gain football scholarships with further training. Griffith hopes the programme leads to contracts abroad for young players.
Yesterday, at a press conference at police headquarters in Port of Spain, Griffith said, “This is also providing an opportunity to get young players back into the United Kingdom – it is a good structure there.”
The CoP said playing overseas will help TT football.
“Through that (overseas contracts) it can also act as a very good avenue to get our young players that type of exposure, training and ability and could very well play a very big part towards TT football actually moving forward.”
Griffith said talent can be found through the Commissioner’s Cup.
“We have to understand that on many occasions...we have lost many good footballers through hidden talent being lost, not being provided with that opportunity, and situations like this could provide that hidden talent.”
Patsy Joseph, assistant Commissioner of Police, community relations, said this programme is about entire communities getting involved.
“With the involvement of the community policing officers based in the communities, they will have certain responsibilities. The grounds for example: the community policing officer in any district will be involved, along with the community, to repair the ground, and when the tournament starts you have to bring your community to your game.”
Joseph said prizes will be given for the largest attendance at matches, the best rhythm section, the best team chant and teams that are most accommodating to visiting teams.
Former TT footballer Kenwyne Jones, who is an ambassador for the league, said, “You have a lot of kids who are very creative, very talented, very expressive in all different facets of sport and in life, and we have to be able to give them that opportunity to see that and to explore those options.
“I am happy that they chose me – because I did not ask to be, I am happy that they chose me to be a part of this vehicle and I am on board.”
The TT Football Association(TTFA) and the Football Factory are also supporting the initiative.
The TTFA was represented by general secretary Camara David and Terry Fenwick attended the launch on behalf of Football Factory.