Sports — 30 September 2017
Belize City football is  on the rise

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 25, 2017–It’s been a long time coming, and finally, thanks to the CYDP sponsors, First Division football has returned to the MCC Grounds. It’s an interesting mix of old and new talent, where some wily veterans, with past semipro football experience, get to rub elbows with some bright young talents just breaking into their own, after developing their skills and confidence at the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito for a few years, followed by the brief Under 15 and Under 17 tournaments hosted by the Belize District Football Association (BDFA).

Some of the familiar names from the Smart 13 & Under that are already surfacing in the scoring columns of the just commenced CYDP Peace Cup include Dion Cacho, Tyrique Muschamp and Orlando Velasquez, although Velasquez was barred, due to being a few weeks overage, from participating in the inaugural Smart Mundialito a few years ago.

It’s a pity that the CYDP Peace Cup 2017 will have such a short regular season, with teams only playing a single round-robin within their group. So that, unless they make the playoffs, a number of teams will not get to face each other; and, with only 7 or 6 teams in a group, their regular season will end with only 6 or 5 games played.

Nevertheless, for a city that prided itself in always producing top contenders in the national amateur club competition in years past, there is new hope that the talents surfacing in the present Peace Cup tournament will be enough to galvanize the formation of a new semipro team to replace the failed FC Belize semipro franchise.

BDF FC has adopted the MCC for their home games; but they have not yet won the hearts of Belize City fans; and setting their few home games for Saturday, instead of Sunday, has not helped.

Whether it will be an old familiar name or a brand new franchise, Belize City, the commercial and population hub of the nation, is poised to produce another quality team, to add new excitement to the Premier League of Belize, perhaps as early as next year’s Opening Season.

And it would be a great encouragement to any would-be sponsor/owner, if our National Sports Council, under new Director, Ian Jones, would get the financial backing of Government to convert the “cow pasture” or “horse gallop” that the MCC Grounds has become, into a form again befitting the name of “The Garden.”

We can only “imagine the possibilities” that a beautiful green carpet field and new, comfortable western bleachers could do to bring back hope and happiness to hundreds of Belize City football fans. What a day that will be!

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Eden Cruz

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