Success for Our Youth! U14 Boys Stamp Their Authority at CFU Challenge in the Dominican Republic

The regional confederation CONCACAF usually host its biannual Under 15 championship as its flagship youth tournament.

This competition usually comprises of all 41 member associations of the confederation. As a precursor to the tournament and in an effort to provide member associations with an avenue of preparation, the Caribbean Football Union organized its inaugural CFU Boys’ Under 14 Challenge Series. This year the competition was held in the Dominican Republic where our St. Lucian boys gave a riveting account of themselves.

Gradually, St. Lucia is becoming well renowned and well respected for its youth football programs and performances. With renewed emphasis being placed on youth football following the launch of the strategic plan (SP2020) two years ago, we have made colossal strides forward with our youth football. Such a reputation was consolidated by the invisible display put on by our boys at the inaugural 2018 CFU Boys’ Under 14 Challenge Series.

The contingent of 20 players and 4 technical staff members was led by manage Ali Henry. Head coach St. Croix Albert was selected due to his unprecedented resume at the youth level. SLFA grassroots coordinator Victorin Lawrence was also a part of the group.  

The boys got their tourney campaign off to a rambunctious start after the total capitulation of Turks and Caicos to an 8 nil thrashing. They managed to transfer their high levels of energy and confidence into their second game pushing the opponents Puerto Rico aside by 4 goals to one. Their most difficult opponents came in the form of a very resilient St. Marteen team. The match was indeed a great spectacle as St. Marteen, though they were very adventurous in attack, never neglected their defensive responsibilities. The game was a true test of fitness levels as it was being played at blistering pace. In the end, the technical brilliance and overall tournament momentum of Team St. Lucia prevailed. We managed to overcome our suitors by 2 goals to nil. Finally, we were to square off against the hosts. The Dominican Republic had been having a tournament of grave inconsistencies but were still able to give an impressive account of themselves. However, our boys stayed true to our style of play, monopolising possession and using the wings as outlets through which pinpoint central service was provided. We completed our 100% win record with a 3 nil victory over the Dominican Republic.

The success of this tournament is testament to the immense work being done in the youth department and a symbol of progress with our endeavour to reshape our football identity. These results also provide a great platform from which we can improve and leapfrog into the CONCACAF Under 15 Championship next year with great performances.