Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Reggae Rovers bring Caribbean football to the world

Published:Tuesday | June 11, 2024 | 12:11 AMGregory Bryce/Staff Reporter
From left: Gerry Mouttet and Gary Peart, chairman Supreme Ventures Limited pose with head coach of the Reggae Rovers Marcelo Castillo in Cary North Carolina at the TST Soccer Tournament on Saturday.
From left: Gerry Mouttet and Gary Peart, chairman Supreme Ventures Limited pose with head coach of the Reggae Rovers Marcelo Castillo in Cary North Carolina at the TST Soccer Tournament on Saturday.

DESPITE FALLING at the quarterfinal stage, the Caribbean collective Reggae Rovers brought energy and vibes to this year’s staging of The Soccer Tournament (TST) 7v7 Championship held in North Carolina.

Competing for a cash prize of $1 million, the Reggae Rovers took on the international competition high on confidence.

The Reggae Rovers squad included several notable footballers from the Caribbean region.

Jamaican internationals Owayne Gordon, Oniel Fisher, Sean McFarlane, Demario Phillips, Ricardo Thomas, and Chavany Willis took part in the tournament.

The team also included Trinidadians Marvin Phillips, Che Benny, Matthew Woo Ling, and John-Paul Rochford.

A lot of recruiting

Reggae Rovers general manager and player Shane Malcolm said the team was selected through months of preparation where recruitment of the best talent was the main priority.

“Let’s just say it’s a lot of recruiting and eight months of calling and asking,” he said.

“At first it was hard to convince people because it’s a $1 million tournament, it’s kind of risky but once you get a couple guys signed up, a lot of guys see their friends playing and want to be a part of it.”

The team was drawn in group B alongside CONCAFA SC, Nati SC and Burnley. The Reggae Rovers topped the group with a perfect record, scoring 16 goals along the way and only conceding thrice.

In the round of 32, the Reggae Rovers got the better of Tobacco Road FC in a tight 3-2 decider before demolishing Wrexham Red Dragons 5-1 in the round of 16.

However, the team’s run to the championship final was halted at the quarterfinals.

Drawn against last year’s champions, the Reggae Rovers fell 3-2 with Chevaughn Walsh and Kevaugh Frater scoring the consolation goals.

Speaking on the team’s aim, Malcolm said the purpose of entering the competition was for the Reggae Rovers to showcase the footballing talent from the Caribbean.