ꟷ CASH to be ‘set on fire’The GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships bullied off last evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, and the expectation is that a week of exceptionally competitive hockey action lies ahead.Bounty GCC’s Medroy Scotland blocking an Old Fort shot during last year’s actionIn the outstanding men’s division, the Pepsi Hikers will look to defend their title and maintain their position as the most successful men’s first division team in the competition’s existence.This team will again be led by national captain Robert France, who has been one of the country’s most prolific strikers over the past decade. The core players of this exciting team are now in the prime of their careers, thus this team will be a difficult side to beat.With the introduction of new, exciting junior players like Omar Hopkinson and Nandlall Persaud added to reliable veterans Aderemi ‘Dove’ Simon and Jason DeSantos, Old Fort have been the most rapidly improving team in the men’s division.And with Kareem McKenzie and Meshach Sargeant being among the most skilful and entertaining players on show, GCC are likely to see some of their junior stars ‘breaking through the ranks’. National Goalkeeper Medroy Scotland will be key to this Bourda side’s contention.Saints, the youngest team in the tournament, have been improving with each outing. Their youthful energy and tactical understanding — being under the tutelage of national coach Robert Fernandes — will be factors that weigh heavily in their favour.The ‘Garnett family’ form the cornerstone of this team, along with skilful midfielders Shakeem Fausette and Edmund Chinian.The ladies’ competition is set to be a similarly thrilling affair. The Hikers wrested the trophy from the GBTI GCC Tigers in 2018, after the Tigers had retained same for nine years; thus these Tigers are sure to be spoiling for a fight in order to reverse that result in 2019. National players Marzana Fiedtkou, Gabriella Xavier and Trisha Woodroffe form a powerful anchor for this team.Defending champions Hikers also field a team that is chockful of international players. There is the powerful Marisha Fernandes in defence, and Latacia Chung and Nicole Eastman up front.The Saints have emerged from a successful second division competition that surely gives them great confidence going into this ladies’ competition. Over the past couple of years, Tekeisha Deleon has been their star, while young speedsters Charlia Webb and Claysia Bobb have each posed a difficult challenge for opposing defences.The dogged GBTI GCC Spice and the Spartans round off the women’s division.There will also be in this tournament a men’s second division and a veterans’ division featuring players over the age of 35.The competition will run for the remainder of the week, with the final clash being set for the evening of Sunday, October 20, from 16:00hrs.