Barbados International Master Football Festival 2012 by Stephen Hall

  • {EDITOR’S NOTE – Thanks to regular reader and fellow blogger Stephen Hall, who also follows my Cinema trailers, be sure to visit his site by clicking HERE}

The well organised festival opened on 25th May for the sixteenth annual event, attracting 28 teams from around the globe including England, Canada, the USA, Serbia and a number of Caribbean countries including Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Guyana and Barbados.

Serbian goalkeeper saves as Wanderers forward waits to strike.

Teams play in a group stage for three games across the first two days before moving on to two knock out cup style competitions. To reach the final at Dayrell’s Road on Monday afternoon, teams may have played seven 45 minute matches in 4 days.

The home team and organisers, Wanderers, managed to reach the quarter finals before pace, age, talent and fitness told against the Trinidad Defence Force team. Wanderers had only lost once, against another Trini team, Blue Waters, featuring their Minister of Sport, before sheer tiredness took away most chances of scoring. With games played from 9am to 7pm across three stadiums at Dayrell’s Road, Carlton and Dover, large crowds see players battling with the heat across the midday games.

With professional footballers moaning about playing 2 games in a week, these guys, all over 40 and many from 50-60 are playing the equivalent of 3 ½ matches in four days. One former Birmingham City and Queen of the South player, Ian Smith, closed in on his 60th birthday during his 5 matches.

Empire of Barbados won the Plate final beating The Trinidad Defence Force 1-0 with a last minute goal, while Upstars International from Trinidad won the Tournament final beating Paradise of Barbados 3-0 on penalties after a good final ending 0-0.

The festival is organised with the backing of local companies, led by Banks, the brewery with PowerAde the official sports drink. The Barbados Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development Corporation back this project to make it the largest master’s football competition in the world bringing in hundreds of players and supporters to the country each Whitsun/Bank holiday weekend.

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