Antigua & Barbuda’s Empire Star Girls outshine the rest in local Women’s football

ABFA Women’s Senior League Champions Empire Star Girls. Source: Empire FC website

Women’s football is a permanent fixture in seasonal football events in all the Member Associations of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), and reflects one of the statutory requirements of the Organization.

Antigua & Barbuda is one of the longstanding and prominent Member Associations which supports and promotes Women’s football, and is among the eight national teams to have qualified for the CFU Women’s Under-17 Finals, which were staged in Haiti from September 18-29.

As part of its mission to prepare young women to compete in the international arena, the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) established the ABFA Women’s Senior League Competition in March, 2006 with five teams. Since that time, the Competition has progressed and grown extensively and now features twelve teams.

Though the League has not benefited from sponsorship for the current season, it was administered successfully with Empire Star Girls winning the league with a total of 41 points, Lady Hoppers took the runners-up spot with thirty-four points, while the efforts of Jennings Challengers ensured that the team placed third with 27 points.

Midfielder of the Otto Tigers team, Miska Dias, won two individual awards; the Most Valuable Player and the Golden Boot awards. Ms. Dias scored a total of thirty goals for the season. Karen Warner, Captain of the champion team said the Competition was an intense experience. “We played our style of football, The Empire Star Girls team is made up of ten senior players with four junior players, so we don’t have a very large pool of players, but despite this, we used our experience to emerge as the winners. We were not the front runners throughout the competition; however, the race is not for the swift, but for those who can endure it to the end and we won in grand style.”

The Empire Star Girls was formed in 2012. The ABFA expects that with the heavy crowd support for the recently-concluded tournament, the fan base for Women’s football will continue to expand, and in turn, encourage more teams to participate in the next season.