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… Tournament expanded to 32 teamsTHE calls for the expansion of the Petra-organised COURTS Pee-Wee/Banks Malta Supreme Under-11 football tournament were heard and employed when the sixth edition was launched yesterday.The tournament, set to begin on September 30, will see 32 teams compete in groups of six for the coveted trophy.The top two teams from each group after the round-robin stage will advance to the round of 16.According to co-Director of the Petra organisation, Troy Mendonca, the body is happy to be associated with the tournament throughout every tier of schools football.“We are trying to spread our wings with our sponsors to try to include as many places as possible, and try to do the tournament countrywide,” he stated.This hearted the corporate sponsor, Courts Guyana Inc., which plugged $4.1M into the sixth edition, according to Chief Financial Officer, Neil Boucher.Marketing Director Pernell Cummings stated that the tournament has brought to the fore several players who are now regular features of various national teams.“This tournament over the years has produced many footballers, and recently we saw Messi (Martin King), who about two years ago was exciting on the field, go to Barcelona for a camp there.”Banks DIH Malta Supreme brand manager Clayton McKenzie stated that the company is always pleased to support grassroots football as it is essential in promoting sport development.GFF president Wayne Forde also lauded the expansion initiative saying that “the GFF cannot singe-handedly develop football. We call on our stakeholders and members to do this. The expansion of the tournament speaks to Petra and others pushing boundaries.Making brief remarks was Nicholas Fraser, Head of Department of Physical Education.Defending champions St Agnes Primary join Marian Academy, New Comenius, West Ruimveldt, St Margaret’s, Tucville, South Ruimveldt, North Georgetown, Ketley, St Gabriel’s, F.E. Pollard, Enterprise, St Pius, Sophia, Winfer Gardens, Smith Memorial, East La Penitence, St Angela’s, St Ambrose, St Stephen’s, Stella Maris, J.E. Burnham, School of the Nations and Rama Krishna.The remaining eight schools will be named shortly before the seven-week tournament begins.