|FOOTBALL PUTS DEBE ON A HIGH|
Debe High School has in recent years earned a reputation as a breeding ground for top female footballers in Trinidad and Tobago and look set to maintain their dominance in the Secondary Schools Football League for many seasons to come.
The seven-year school from the southland has captured the National League and Intercol and South Zone titles consecutively for the past three seasons and have produced several national players most notably goalkeeper Linfah Jones, Kayla Taylor and Patrice Vincent who were members of T&T’s Under 17 team at the 2010 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup. Former national under 20 captain Mariah Shade and Elizabeth Ng Wait are also past students. Debe’s most recent success was a 1-0 win over Roxborough Secondary in the Big Four Final and then a 4-1 win over the same Tobago side in the BGTT Girls Intercol final last week
Two of the main men behind Debe’s success are head coach Arnold Murphy and team manager Clive Ogiste who is also a physical education teacher at the school.
According to Murphy, the decision to merge with the Petrotrin Women’s team a few years back has paid dividends. Several of the players at Debe High also play for Petrotrin where Murphy is also the head coach.
“In our first season we got knocked around but then we settled in the season after and we have gone on to win title after title in the three years to follow. We took a decision to merge with Petrotrin and most if not all our players play for both teams. We were discovering players turning up at Petrotrin and there was that opportunity to get them into school to pursue an education and play football. We play our matches at Guaracara Park and the Petrotrin Sports Club have been our biggest supporters in terms of finance also,” Murphy said on Tuesday. He hopes that a greater effort will be made to have the school ground or a nearby ground in Debe refurbished to allow the team to train and play within the community rather than at Point-a-Pierre.
The school also places heavy emphasis on the academic progress of the players and already United States Colleges have been in contact over the possibility of offering scholarships to the outstanding players.
“When people hear Debe they think about aloo pie and doubles. But there are a lot more good things going on down here and it’s evident with the football success at Debe High. We stress the need for a balance between the sports like football and the academics and you see the results with Linfah now doing A-Levels and Patrice and Kayla are preparing for the CXC examinations. We also have national swimmers, we have been national hockey and windball cricket champions too,” Murphy relayed.
“We want to continue making our mark and provide an avenue for youngsters to have options for good futures,” Murphy ended. (Dec 3,2010)