TIGHT AND TOUGH IN GUNJUR
19th August, 2016
It could not still be ascertain who the legitimate title contenders are, the race for the honour in the sixteen (16) team annual Gunjur summer football competition commonly called nawettan, is tight and tough for all the teams. History has it for the past two seasons that, teams only managed seven points at the group stages as the highest, and this year’s campaign will be of no difference as no team secured more than four points after two round of matches.
Many people including some pundits expected the campaign not to be entertaining and tough like the previous after several good players travelled to the West, majority to Italy via the “back-way” and left their positions vacant in their various teams. Do the missing of those players affected their teams as expected? No. Did the pundits and spectators got their initial analysis of the nawettan wrong? I could simply answer that with just one simple word, YES.
All the teams including the heavy weights and lowly rated are looking somewhat strong. The champions Dunnes F.C of Nyofelleh village and cup winners Passamai F.C had to wait for their last games to know their faiths, Red Star F.C formerly (Gamcel) the most successful club in recent day Gunjur nawettan, has gone two games without a goal and Gamrock F.C who failed in the qualifiers and went on to replaced New Town in the nawettan proper are on top of their group. However, no team has yet progress to the last eight; everything is poised for the last day dramas.
I can hear some of you saying to yourself “what would have been responsible for the competitiveness of this year’s campaign”. Never stay in doubt; it can just be attributed to two things. First, the sponsor involved and second, the reduction of teams from 24 to 16. The league is bankrolled by Green Vision International Estate Agency, which means a brand new trophy will be handed out and the prize money will be increased from the usual D15, 000 and D10, 000 as winners and runners. The idea of the committee to reduce the teams has helped the participating teams to look even stronger as they re-enforced their squads with the good players of none competing teams.
Now let’s look at the groups after two rounds of matches. Group A.
A group that consist of both champions and 2014 league runners up Solid Properties (Sunderland) and debutant Ajax F.C. Solid Properties leads the group with four points and needs just a single points in their last game to progress. Any result other than a win for Ajax who are on two points and Passamai on one points, will see Solid Properties prevail with Dunnes F.C who currently seats second with three points. Final group fixture;
Ajax vs Dunnes and Solid Properties vs Passamai.
Surprisingly headed by two teams from the eliminations, Gamrock and Lanuja each with four points, but, Gamrock are better in goal difference, Kundembo third with one points and Kajabang bottom with one point. A progression is still possible for all the teams in the group, if Kajabang and Kundembo wins their final games they will go through, any result other than win, will mean Gamrock and Lanuja will be in the last eight. Last games.
Lanuja vs Kundembo and Gamrock vs Kajabang.
Considered by many as the group of death, it comprises of three former trophy winners, Red Star, Reliance and Smiling Coast (Alex Sanchaba) and the fourth is a resurgent Gamcel F.C Halifax side. It is the only group where a team is yet to taste victory as all the meetings ended in stalemates. The fact that each two team in the group are from the same area, have made things interesting and makes the fight even more tough; teams are slightly separated by goal difference. Therefore there is nothing like relying on each other for a favour, each team has his destiny in his own hand, in the final round of games. Win will ensure automatic progression, but, a draw may also be enough to see teams progressing with just three points. Smiling Coast lead the pool, Reliance and Gamcel F.C Halifax are tied and Red Star seats below the group.
Mouth watering fixtures
Smiling Coast VS Red Star and Gamcel F.C Halifax VS Reliance.
A pool where one of the heavy weights must certainly exit at the group stages, it consist of three big guns, Bax F.C (Nyokoyorr), Waves F.C (Commit), Black Star (Berending Village) and one lowly rated, Sibindinto F.C. Waves who are third with two points stands the easiest chance to go through as they will take on the already exit Sibindinto who lost two games on the spin, if Waves win with two goals advantage they will go to the next stage. The must watch tie in the group is the game between Bax and Black Star both of who are on four points but Bax are better on goal difference, therefore Bax needs a draw or win to progress, a defeat will see black Star through. However anything other than a conditional win for Waves will see Bax and Black Star to the next stages.
By Famara Badjie