Evolution FC making their mark in Edinburgh 500

Evolution FC's under-15 football team. - Photo courtesy Evolution FC
Evolution FC's under-15 football team. - Photo courtesy Evolution FC

ALTHOUGH they are a relatively new club that were registered in July 2022, Evolution FC are ready to make their mark on the local football scene and are targeting a successful campaign in the 2024 Republic Cup National Youth Football League (NYFL) which kicks off on February 24.

Through the collaborative efforts of co-directors and coaches Husani Thomas and Kern Cupid, a former national senior team defender, the Evolution FC project came to life after both men navigated the restrictions of covid19 in 2021 with their coaching methods. What started off with small training sessions with a handful of children in the Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas area soon blossomed into something far greater as the numbers gradually increased with the lifting of outdoor restrictions early in 2022.

“(The journey) started with coaching during covid19, and then Kern and I decided to formulate the club. We thought about a few names and we landed on this one,” Thomas told Newsday.

“We said Evolution is what represents us best in terms of our vision. Our vision is, when a player comes to us, no matter their ability, skill level or age, by the time they come to us and spend time with us, they must evolve into a better player, a better person and a better contributor to society.”

With sessions at their Edinburgh 500 recreation ground home venue, Thomas and Cupid, together with fellow coaches Khafra Anderson, Alana Aqui and Brendon Burke, have extended the Evolution FC membership to roughly 250 youngsters within the span of two years.

In their setup, Evolution FC have players from ages four to 23, and they also have approximately 20 girls in the club, most of whom participate in the under-8 age group.

The club sustains itself via a $200 monthly fee which is paid by members in the various age groups, and Thomas says Evolution FC are actively seeking sponsorship to assist the club in the long run.

“We have strong principles as young men and human beings too and we try to instill those and pass those on to the kids so when they join us, they must be able to contribute positively to society,” Thomas said.

“We have visions which are aligned with the paths we have taken as young footballers and young men who are passionate about the game and wanting to improve and wanting to achieve goals, no matter what they may be.”

Apart from contesting the Republic Cup tournament in 2023, when their under-15 team got a quarter-final finish in the Trinidad leg of the competition, the club also hosted their first one-day football tournament (Evolution Cup) last April and intend to host the second edition on March 23, 2024.

Evolution FC players entered the RBC Race For The Kids 5K in October, with the club also hosting an online SEA workshop and a first aid course for parents and more senior members within the club’s setup.

Nine-year-old Evolution FC player Amara Thomas prepares to go through a training drill. - Photo courtesy Evolution FC

“This year, we have some plans in the pipeline to do a few things in the community of Edinburgh 500 and Chaguanas by extension too,” Thomas said.

On the football field, Thomas said one of their goals is to have Evolution’s players competing at a high level in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), TT Premier Football tier two and also eventually ply their trade abroad as well. Thomas said Evolution’s under-23 programme is also pivotal to the overall longevity of the club, as it provides an avenue for players who would normally leave the academy at 17 or 18.

“Our hope is to enter the Central zone and then maybe work our way up the ranks.

“The whole goal of the under-23 team was to keep those bigger guys active and have them involved in something meaningful, rather than having them cut off after a certain age.”

Several players in Evolution’s under-16 and under-20 setup featured in the 2023 SSFL season, and the quartet of Judah Chinapoo, Miqel Samuel, Terriq Thomas and diminutive attacker Kyle Holder form part of the Miracle Ministries Pentecostal High School team which copped the 2023 SSFL Central zone championship division after the league’s arbitration committee confirmed their status as zonal winners last month.

Coached by Cupid, Miracle Ministries are currently in the middle of the SSFL Big 5 playoffs campaign which will promote the top three teams to the 2024 premier division season.

With the nucleus of the Miracle Ministries team in their setup, to go along with a few St Benedict’s College players – including Evolution’s under-20 captain Joshua Demas – Thomas is confident his team will do well in the under-14, under-16 and under-20 age groups in the 2024 Republic Cup season.

“This year, we are taking the experience from last year and the experience we have gained as a club and an academy. We are hoping to make an even stronger impression on the Republic Cup.

“We have been preparing for that since the year started and that is our most immediate target footballing-wise.”


"Evolution FC making their mark in Edinburgh 500"

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