Front Page
January 9, 2009
Vincentians urged to throw their support behind Team SVG

The battle cry for the next five days will be for Vincentians to come out in their numbers and throw their fullest support behind this country’s Under-20 male Football team.{{more}}

The team is on a mission to get first of all to the Finals of the CONCACAF Zone of this year’s Under-20 World Cup.

And, the battleground is right here at the Victoria Park from this evening.

The local lads must blunt the attack of the three other finalists in this the Caribbean Zone to get to the next phase, as they seek ultimately to journey to Egypt.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines faces the Dominican Republic from 8pm tonight. Before that, though, Haiti and Jamaica will engage each other from 6pm in the first match.

On Sunday, from 6 pm, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica battle. Thereafter, from 8pm, the hosts meet Haiti.

The competition rounds up on Tuesday, with Haiti and the Dominican Republic meeting at 6pm, to be followed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines against Jamaica from 8 pm.

The man put in charge of the Vincentian team’s preparations, Kendale Mercury, told SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday that he was” real confident” ahead of the upcoming Finals.

Mercury’s stance is based on the recently held camp, which took place over the Christmas season, and continued this week leading up to the start of the competition.

“I have seen a lot of improvements in the guys; the three sessions per day have reinforced some of the things some of the players missed when we had the two sessions per week,” Mercury said.

“There have been some technical improvements in passing, and receiving the balls from a distance, especially aerially,” the Coach added.

But Mercury was especially pleased with his charges’ tactical progress within the last three weeks.

Focussing in the immediate task at hand, Mercury said.” As a Coach, I am not fearful of any team; but realistically the guys at present can match up with any team in the Caribbean.”

Mercury, however, thinks that the opening fixture against the Dominican Republic will be crucial.

“We are hoping that we can make a mark and stamp our authority on the competition in the first match”, Mercury opined.

He was cautious, though, and at the same time wary of the pressures of playing in front of their home crowd.

“Home support can be two fold; they can be very hostile and at times give the players too many instructions,” Mercury warned.

He is asking Vincentians who attend the matches to give the players positive instructions and make their criticisms constructive.

The winner of this CFU stage will immediately join fellow Caribbean participants Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Finals, while the runner-up will play-off against UNCAF’s third placed team, Honduras, for another.

The CONCACAF Under-20 Tournament will be held in Trinidad & Tobago from March 6 to 15.

Canada, Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica and El Salvador have also qualified for the Finals.

Four teams will qualify from the CONCACAF grouping to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt from September 25 to October 16th.