WOMENS LEAGUE  
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  History of KSAFA Women’s Football Competitions
 
Female Football Champions: Members of the Boogie Girls football team which defeated Boy's Town Wild Cats 3-2 on penalties in the KSAFA women's ;eague football final at the National Stadium. In front, left to right, goalkeepers Kerris Heywood and Suzie Benbow; middle row, left to right, Valrey Murphy, Authia Morgan, Judith Dixon, Christine Mundle, Veronica Davis, Ann Marie Collins, Maria Johnson; back row, left to right, Rohan Oliver - equipment manager, Percival Cordwell - technical instructor, Joan Thompson, Pauline Smith, Diana Donalds, Kay Mundle, Sister Francis, Christine Stoddart, Everton Cordwell - assistant coach. Absent from picture captain Karlene Bonner

Never say Never-Bertholt Brecht’s Mother Courage & Her Children

To establish Women’s football in Jamaica, we know we have first to overcome these historical myths and sexual bias that mitigate against our ladies being involved in this male sport. We need you understanding and support to overcome this ”Barrier” and to bring our talented sportswomen into this 20th century sport which has already created female soccer stars in the developed countries- Jean Nelson, Presidential Address to 1st Congress of Jamaica Women’s Football Association, 10th May,1990.

Women’s World Cup 1992-the motive force

Jean Elaine Nelson

Jean Elaine Nelson is credited with playing a leading role in the establishment of KSAFA Confederation first women’s football competition. It can also be said, that because of her yeoman & indefatigable effort, KSAFA gained the distinction of promoting the first full fledged organized women’s football competition in the history of Jamaica.

It all started in 1989 . The talk in the air was ‘time was running out for Jamaica’ and the country would miss the boat to China as that country was awarded host nation of FIFA’s first Women’s World Cup 1992 . The fever had caught on and all over the world there was an explosion of female interest in football. It too dawned on the then 31 year old Mutual Security bank clerk that ‘nutten a gwaan a yard’ ,and further, Jamaica had nothing in place for CONCACAF Women’s Qualifying Tournament scheduled for Haiti April 1991 . As far as Jean Nelson was concerned, there was no formal competition nor constitutional structures in place for Jamaican women to play a leading role and mobilize a national team to respond to the challenge of the two historic events. She was undaunted by earlier thwarted organized efforts and token curtain raisers experienced by pioneers such as her Boys’ Town Wild Cat teammate, Andrea Lewis; and other veterans such as Bernadatte Mairs of Concorde and Karlene’ Tyson’ Bonner of Rae Town’s Boogie Girls. Rather, She saw the Beijing World Cup as a new dawn, a new challenge for women to be galvanized into action ,overcome the social prejudices and take their rightful place in the football sun.

Shot on Goal: Boogie Girls' left winger, Pauline Smith (left) sends a hard right-footer towards goal. Mico's Janet Mitchell at right can do little abot the powerhouse. The game was the KSAFA Women's League encounter last Saturday at Mona. Boogie Girls won 6-0.

Jean Nelson set out to build a strategic alliance in order to strengthen her case for consideration by JFF. Encouraged by her former coworker at Scotia data centre, Wayne Shaw, she first approached national women’s coach designate, Winston Chung Fah , and shortly thereafter, Maverly- Hughenden’s Bradley Stewart. At the Collie Smith club house both Carl Brown and Bob West came on board. Andrea Lewis, also a former Jamaica Women’s Hockey goal keeper, was able to be entice the hockey fraternity under the umbrella of Women’s Hockey. As the word spread, Boogie Girls, named after Jamaica famous disc jock Barry G, as` well as Mico and Priory came on board.

Armed with the above, the persistent Jean Nelson approached JFF general secretary’ Calvin Baker. Noting that the teams were largely Kingston based, he suggested that she try KSAFA. Here president David ‘Billy “ Marston was receptive; and his Council (KSAFC) readily endorsed the concept, because according to a spokesman,” the first Women’s World Cup would be held in the Peoples Republic of China in 1992 and to spur JFF into action in this area”. Towards this end, the KSAFC established and assigned oversight responsibility to a KSAFA Women’s Football Committee involving all the stakeholders as well as voted a budgetary allocation to cover prize monies , trophies, match expenses and other overheads. Members of the standing committee comprised:

Jean Nelson-Chairman; Dougal Campbell-League Director and KSAFA rep; Karlene Bonner-Boogie Girls rep; Grace Butterfield-secretary and Wild Cats rep; Joa Thompson –Boogie Girls rep; Yvonne Williams and Donovan Phillips.

It was agreed that the historic competition be called KSAFA Women’s Major League.

1989/1990 –Inaugural year and Formation of Jamaica Women’s Football Association.

  • The KSAFA Women’s Major League kicked off on Saturday January 20,1990 at Priory with a double header involving the four (4) participating teams – Priory vs Mico and Wild Cats Vs Boogie Girls. Wray and Nephew and Women’s Hockey had earlier withdrawn respectively due to financial constraint and the clash with the Hockey Federation’s local and international fixtures. The first match ended nil all. Pauline Smith of Boogie Girls scored the first goal of the competition and when Winston Dirks Campbell blew the whistle to signal the end of the feature match, Boogie Girls emerged victorious 3-1.

  • Referees Winston ‘Dirks’ Campbell ,Richard ’Roots’ Nathan and Ezra Samms officiated free of cost for the most part during the preliminary round.

  • The final ,Boogie Girls vs Wild Cats was played as curtain riser to the National Premier League final Reno vs Black Lions on February 5, 1990 at the National Stadium. The score was locked at 1-1 and Boogie Girls went on to win 3-2 on penalty.

  • Ann Marie Collins of Boogie Girls and Jean Cover of Wild Cats shared the leading goal scorer award, each with 6 goals.

  • The Jamaica Women’s Football Association(JWFA) was formed on May 10, 1990 President-Jean Nelson; Vice –President –Karlene Bonner; Secretary-Janet Martin: Treasurer-Jean Cover; Assistant Secretary- Grace Butterfield.

Andrea Lewis is co-opted as Technical Adviser.

1990/1991- League expanded to include a rural club but competition abandoned

  • The JWFA decided to continue running the Women’s League under the aegis of KSAFA.

  • Rural club, Concord of Montego Bay is one of two new clubs entering, the other being Campion . Barry Smith, rep of Concord was appointed to the KSAFA Women’s Football Committee.

  • KSAFC voted to increase the first place prize money to $2,500 and proposed to have the Women’s final played as a curtain raiser at its March 1991 final.

  • The six (6)participating clubs in the 1990/1991 competition were: Wild Cats, Boogie Girls, Mico, Concorde, Priory and Campion. The competition was kicked off by Sports Minister, Hon Portia Simpson at Campion on November 17,1990 with Boggie Girls clipping Concorde 1-0.

  • Boogie Girls qualified for the final which never took place following Concord’s refusal to abide by KSAFC ruling that they have a play off with Wild Cats. The1990/1991 competition was finally abandoned as most of the players were called to national trials

  • 30 players from across the island and Canada were invited to national trials under technical director Winston Chung Fah in February 1991 .This in preparation for CONCACAF Women’s Qualifying Tournament in Haiti.

  • Jamaica participated in the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Haiti in April 1991 and lost all three opening matches:1-0 to Haiti;8-0 to Canada and 2-1 to Costa Rica.

1991/1992- three dropped out three new clubs added

  • Boogie Girls, Wild Cats and Mico were joined by three new clubs – Portland Women’s Strikers, Step Up of Westchester and Maverley-Hughenden. Three clubs, Campion ,Priory and Concord opted not to participate.

  • The opening ceremony took place at Stadium West on Saturday, February 2,2002. Boogie Girls defeated Portland Strikers 3-1.

  • Boogie Girls emerged champions, again defeating Wild Cats in the final.

  • Ann Marie Collins of Boogie Girls won the leading goal scorer award with 13 goals Christine Petal’ Mundle of Boogie Girls was voted MVP. Later that same year ,Mundle was cited as the first Jamaican female recipient of a football scholarship to Mobile University ,Alabama where she pursued a degree in physical education.

1992/1993-Players defected from Boys’ Town Wild Cats to forma new John Barnes United Club

Corporate sponsorship secured

  • 6 clubs participated :Boogie Girls, Wild Cats, Portland Women’s Strikers, Maverley/Hughenden, Mico and newcomers John Barnes United which comprised largely of players who had defected from Boy’s Town Wild Cats.

  • Corporate sponsorship was secured for the first time as Esso came on board as lead sponsor.

  • Boogie Girls and Mico battled to an exciting 1-1 draw as the league kicked off at Stadium West on February 22,1993. A parade of all teams preceded the game.

  • Johns Barnes defeated Boogie Girls 3-1 in the final to gain their first of three liens on the Esso trophy.

1993/ 1994 John Barnes United retained title

1994/1995 John Barnes United retained title

1995- 2008 JWFA new leadership re-branded the competition ; JFF takes full charge following dissolution of JWFA.

Under a new leadership led by Elaine Walker- Brown, the JWFA ran its Women’s League independent of the KSAFA. The anomaly of designating a rapidly expanding island-wide league as KSAFA Women’s Major League was therefore discontinued and the competition re-branded as Jamaica Women’s Football League. The JWFA was finally dissolved in keeping with FIFA requirement and women’ football fell under the aegis of JFF with a women’s sub-committee assigned oversight responsibility. The women’s football competition was henceforth designated JFF Women’s National Premier League, a second tier as A League and a KO competition.

2008/2009 - Re-establishment of Women’s football in KSAFA

In fulfillment of a campaign pledge to re-establish women’s football in KSAFA, the new Rudolph Speid led administration appointed a women’s football committee headed by 2nd vice president Jacqueline Cowan which opted for a Claro sponsored Women’s Under 20 Futsal (Five a-side) with a long term prospect for the gradual phase in introduction of a senior women’s football league.  The U-20 Futsal kicked off on the 44th anniversary of KSAFA, Sunday April 26,2009.

A dress parade will precede the kick-off

 


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