By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Islanders 13 months extended season because of COVID-19, ended by picking up a $10,000 cheque and the league champions trophy, after falling to the All Stars, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon in Greenland.
“Definitely an exciting game, even though it was an exhibition game, I would have hoped that we would have come out with the win, nonetheless, the players did the hard work when it mattered most during the season, that’s why we’re here playing the All Stars team,” Islanders Coach Andy Davis told Island Sun Sports. “We played a number of good teams technically, however, we managed to score goals, we managed to win when it mattered and that’s important at the end of the day—winning the league and winning the games.”
Davis said he’s glad that the league that began in Nov 2019 is over, as it definitely showed the resilience of the players, the resilience of the competition committee and the BVI Football Association and the longing for football in the territory from all the clubs. He noted that during the lockdown and other imposed restrictions, clubs were asking when the sport would restart. He said definitely the eagerness, hunger and excitement is there.
“We’re happy it’s over and we’re excited to start next year,” Davis stated.
Davis—whose teams won its eight league title since its 2008 formation—said it was an exciting moment collect the $10,000 cheque and the winner’s trophy, but he was even more excited for the youngsters on the team, so they can get a feel of what it’s like winning the national league with a club like Islanders.
“Hopefully, they’ll take this pride to next season, so that when the season starts, they can play just as hard.”
Davis presented the championship trophy to National Bank of the Virgin Islands Manager, Joy Penn and said the bank has been a longtime sponsor of the team and it was nice having her there. He said this is just the start as they have a youth and female teams in the works and the bank has been supportive and committed to staying with the club.
“I’m glad that she was here to witness the game and being presented with the trophy,” Davis said.
Islanders was formed during the 2008-2009 season and Davis said they’ve had a lot of hiccups but they have stayed strong, stayed positive and have recruited a number of players and continue to recruit players that will play the brand of football they’re looking for, that have helped them to get to the point where they are today.
“Eight titles going strong so we just want to keep it going for as long as we can, so that when old guys like me roll out, we have youngsters coming through and they know what Islanders football is about,” he explained. “This title is even sweeter. The majority of core players from 2008 are no longer with the team, but it just shows that the guys we have remaining from then—Ranalie Cain, Noel Issac, they’re committed to playing Islanders brand of football, so when we bring in the youngsters, they know exactly what to expect in terms of the determination, how we move the ball, so it definitely all worth it at the end of the day.”
Other awards doled out: Most Goals, 20 by the Panthers’ Nigel Sanderson; MVP, Sheldon Harry, Islanders; Outstanding Youth Player, Luca Reich, Wolues and Golden Gloves, Lyndell Williams, Sugar Boys.