Photo: Andrew Edwards, Genesis Academy Founder, Alianna Wilson, representative from Pediasure, Baron Watson President of the Manchester Football Association Nicole Murray, representative from Murray's Fish & Jerk Hut and Keisha Myers, Sales Rep from Tropical Blue Water all share in a moment at the end of the launch of the second Genesis Cup to be held at the Manchester High School this Saturday.
The launch of the second staging of the Genesis Cup, an age group football competition put on by the Genesis Football Academy, took place at the Manchester High School Auditorium, Tuesday morning. The event will be held on Saturday at the Manchester High school beginning at 8am.
The second staging of the competition will see 45 teams in five age group categories, battling for trophies and prizes at the one day football festival. The event has undergone significant growth since its first staging last year as only 21 teams in three age group categories were involved then. This year the categories being contested are; Under-15, Under-13, Under-11, Under-9 and Under-7.
Tournament organizer and Genesis Academy founder Andrew Edwards was delighted at the growth of the competition.
“It speaks volumes to the need for an outlet for kids to play football and the growth of academy football in Jamaica. There are five organizations that are participating for the first time and at least two of these academies were established since the last Genesis Cup,” he said.
The former national Under-17 head coach was pleased with the support and has plans for even further development of the competition.
“We see it as a vote of confidence in the Genesis Cup as a product. There were a lot of positive reviews after the first staging and our aim is to make this competition a household name on the football landscape in Jamaica. We are looking to add an international flavor to the competition in the near future,” he stated.
“We also want to thank the new and returning sponsors for having faith in us as a rural based organization and in the product itself,” Edwards continued.
The event and the Genesis Academy got a full endorsement from the President of the Manchester Football Association President, Baron Watson.
“In Manchester we are grateful that we have Genesis Academy. It’s really the first organized academy in Manchester. We at the Manchester FA are working along with Genesis and we hope that they grow from strength to strength, as this will now doubt help to benefit the growth of the sport in the parish,” he said.
Twelve of the original 21 teams return for the second staging. There are eight teams in the U-7 category, 10 in the U-9, 9 in u-11, 10 in U-13 and 8 in u-15.
The U-7, U-9, and U-11 will play two periods of 10 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between in groups in a round robin format. The U-7’s will play 5v5, the U-9’s will play 7v7 and the U-11’S 7v7 with each team having a goalkeeper.
For the U-13 and U-15 there will be two periods of 15 minutes each with 5 minute breaks in between and they will play 8v8 with each team having a goalkeeper.
“The Genesis Cup has as one of its mandates, to provide a platform for the talents with Manchester, particularly those at Genesis and of course from the other teams that come to the Genesis Cup to exhibit themselves, so it’s a talent exhibition really. It is a platform for the future stars of Jamaica’s football,” Edwards insisted.
The Manchester High school head coach said that there needs to be a greater focus on youth development in the sport of football.
“We recognize that there is a vacuum that needs to be filled. Our youngsters need to be playing more football. Right now when we look at football across the length and breath of Jamaica…there is a strong emphasis on adult football but not so much on youth football. Genesis Cup is contributing in our small way in filling that void.”
Some of the participating teams in this year’s competition are Ballaz, Emmanuel Christian Academy and Benders.