Bajan Footballers Win Soccer Competition

The Caribbean Is One Nation.
                                                           Bajan Footballers Win Soccer Competition

By Michael Headley

On a rainy Saturday, September 13,  Red Hook Brooklyn exploded with loud shouts of ‘We won’ and ‘We are the champions’. This was followed by hugs, high fives, and congratulations for the victorious players of Summerfete who had just won the La Liga Champina soccer championship game. It's a Spanish league in which over 35 year-old players compete.  This was a very proud moment for the team and fans alike,including the ardent fan from New Jersey.   As the final whistle blew, Summerfete,  had overcome a one goal deficit to beat former champions Izabal  by three goals to two. Carl Joseph, a guest player from Barbados, scored a hat-trick.  After sixteen years of having to settle for many second place positions Summerfete, which is a majority Bajan team, and honorary Bajans, from Tobago, St. Vincent and previously others from Jamaica and Guyana, had now experienced the thrill of victory and were celebrating, with their loyal fans, in the drizzles.    
The Bajan spirit of not giving up or not giving in was reflective in the tenacious attitude that the players had adopted as the 2014 season progressed.  However, there was the occasional setback especially when some winnable games eluded them.  Nevertheless, the players kept their focus because the ultimate goal was to reach the final, and nothing was going to deter them.  Some guys even played hurt, to ensure that no games were forfeited.  And when some of the team left for their annual Crop Over obligations others filled in admirably. Management had to be constantly adjusting strategies to out-fox the opposition. 
As the name implies, Summerfete is a fun team but the players are  serious about soccer and winning. When individual players miss or cause goals they are fined.  To offset the fine, guilty team members have to provide a top shelf beverage or other delicacy,  This year the team's captain was Kirk John  .  The tournament started late Spring and ended late Summer.  Every Saturday, after the games it’s  a party atmosphere in Red Hook and all visiting Bajans make their pilgrimage there to cheer on their comrades, enjoy the hang, have a beverage or sample Tammy’s Bajan style cooking.
As if to inspire the team, Johnathan Straker (John John) said that he did not want to return to Barbados without any hardware. A case of champagne was also brought along in anticipation of  an imminent victory.   Other guest players, from Barbados were Michael Forde, Renaldo Gilkes (Pewee) Albert Mapp and  Cory Burrows (Santa).  They contributed immensely and blended in well with the stalwarts to create a cohesive unit, offensively and defensively.  With this victory, the team felt that they had done themselves and country proud. Until next year gentlemen when other eager guys, will become eligible to join Summerfete in the senior league.

Michael Headley is a social commentator
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