National striker Mario Harte has been named the 2012 Footballer of the Year.
Harte, who led the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme to the KFC Knockout Cup title, was presented with his awards last Sunday night at the Wildey Astro Turf prior to the start of the 2013 domestic season.
The BDF captain was joined by teammates Teriq Highland and Saheka Duke who won the Outstanding Defender and Outstanding Goalkeeper awards respectively.
This year, KFC is once again sponsoring the knockout tournament which has been rebranded as the KFC Champions Cup.
“KFC is delighted to be affiliated with the Champions Cup, a tournament which gives all clubs, no matter how big or small, a chance to win a major football trophy,” said Shekelia Barrow, KFC’s Marketing Coordinator.
“Over the past decade, football has become one of the most widely played – and followed – sports in Barbados. With that in mind, KFC thought it prudent to work with the BFA with a view to creating a lasting legacy for local football.”
Barrow revealed that the restaurant franchise, which has been involved in the sport since partnering with the Barbados Football Association in 2010, had increased its sponsorship of the 64-team tournament which starts on March 30.
“The format of the competition also speaks directly to the sort of culture that we hope can be created in local football circles: no matter how big the hurdle, once it can be dreamed, it can be achieved,” added Barrow.†”For this very reason, KFC has decided to renew and increase its sponsorship of this highly successful tournament.”
President of the BFA, Randy Harris, lauded KFC for its vision and urged corporate Barbados to follow its lead.
“The BFA owes a great deal to KFC,” said Harris.†”Our leading knockout competition would not be where it is today had it not been for the efforts made by KFC. They saw it fit to support local football and now we have one of the best knockout tournaments in the eastern Caribbean.
“This successful model – and partnership – that we have created with KFC is something that we hope to carry over into future competitions.”
2012 KFC Knockout Cup Awards: Outstanding Forward – Mario Harte (BDF); Outstanding Midfielder – Paul Lovell (Weymouth Wales); Outstanding Defender – Teriq Highland (BDF); Outstanding Goalkeeper – Saheka Duke (BDF)††