It all started with a dream; a dream by a ‘West Side’ businessman to have the country’s most dominant football club.
Javed Ali, the financier and president of the Slingerz Football Club is the first to stake claim on the lucrative Stag Elite League, which kicks off on Friday September 18, at the Leonora Track & Field and Football Facility.
Ali’s club will play their nemesis Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United in the night’s second match, with Pele and the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) facing off in the opening match.
Fruta Conquerors, Monedderlust, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and Buxton United, are the other teams competing in the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) marquee event which is being sponsored by Ansa McAl, Courts Guyana Inc and E-Networks.
A total of $15M and one of two spots to represent Guyana at the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championship is on the horizon and Ali is making it clear that “Slingerz will win this title with ease”.
The Vergenoegen businessman is not known to be boastful, so with the always humble Ali making such a proclamation, for sure, he will grab the attention of the competition.
“It’s an honour to get a chance to participate in the League” Ali exclaimed, while adding “from the inception, a National League title was what we had our eyes on”.
Playing under the West Demerara Football Association (WDFA), Slingerz FC is currently unbeaten within their jurisdiction with their distinguish record covering over two years.
In fact, only Alpha United and the GDF can boast of defeating the ‘West Side’ juggernauts but to Ali, the club’s accolades means nothing without hoisting a national title.
The Slingerz FC ‘boss’ sees the Stag Elite League as the “the window for the next level”, further stating “this is what my club was built for – to participate in the league and move on to the CFU and hopefully the CONCACAF”
“If it wasn’t for the league, my club would’ve been out of Football because we don’t have nowhere else to go and nothing more to win or to prove. We won almost everything, we had a chance to play in the Banks tournament we won it, we played in the Kashif and Shanghai and won that too and also we played the Mayor’s cup and we won it after finishing runner-up the first year, so basically, everything for football we’ve won” Ali pointed out.
Apart from their already strong line-up Slingerz FC recently signed National U-23 forward Domini Garnett from Caledonia AIA along with St Vincent and the Grenadines National goalkeeper Winslow McDowall.
The 28-year-old McDowall and his ‘Vincy Heat’ teammates; defenders Jolanshoy McDowall and Keith James arrived in Guyana after helping their country to the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers where they (St Vincent) will now clash with the USA.
Looking ahead to Friday’s encounter against Alpha United Ali believes that his club will come out on top and sees the game as the perfect way to start their title campaign.
The last time the two sides met, was in the finals of the Kashif and Shanghai Football tournament at the Guyana National Stadium in April, where Slingerz FC walked away with the $4M first place prize following a 2 – 0 victory.
“Alpha United is a good team and you always have to go to them well prepared. Even though, the last time we meet we defeated them, Slingerz will be pulling out all the stops for them in the League”
But Alpha United’s track record speaks for itself and clearly, Ali’s team would have back up the profound declaration made by their boss.
Nicknamed the ‘Hammers’, Alpha United a five-times national Champions, winning their titles consecutively from 2009 – 2014, a third place CFU Club Championship finish (2011) and is the only team from Guyana to play at the CONCACAF Champions League.