Celebrating the strides in St James U-13 girls football competition


Celebrating the strides in St James U-13 girls football competition

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Jamaica's qualification to the women's Fifa World Cup for the first time has coincided with the most outstanding year for girls in the 29-year history of the St James Football Association Victoria Mutual Foundation Under-13 competition.

Fredricka Finnikin of Salt Spring Primary highlighted the growth of the females in the competition when she scored five goals in their 8-0 win over Heinz Simonitsch Prep to book a place in the quarter-finals.

Girls have always been part of the competition through the years, and while there have been talented players, it's the first time there have been so many in one season.

In addition to Finnikin, Brianna Haughton of Somerton, Brittney Gregory, who played for years for Corinaldi Avenue and Kryshana Reid, whose goal in the semi-finals last week took John Rollins Success Primary to their second final in three years.

Gregory also scored one goal this year, while Chetwood Primary's Kaylor Palmer scored in her team's 2-0 win over Barracks Road Primary in the third-place play-off last week.

Hopeton Gilchrist, the national Under-17 men's coach and coordinator for the competition, told the Jamaica Observer that this season was by far the best for the females.

“This is the first year we have seen so many girls with very good quality in the competition,” he said at the final between Granville Primary and John Rollins Success Primary at the UDC field on Friday.

“This goes to show what the program has done for them and how the coaches have been able to get the best out of them,” he said.

A few of the girls will be heading off to high school in September and Gilchrist says he expects them to continue their progress.

“Players like Finnikin, I am sure will continue to work hard and will get better and this will make those teams better as well.”

— Paul Reid

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