On Target
January 23, 2015
Are we playing too much football?

Is the year long football action across St Vincent and the Grenadines too much?

Immediately, this column would say no.

But what is surely factual, however, is that there is too much unstructured football.

And, with that, all we are having is plenty football and little or no progress, as the non-stop sets of competitions do little to enhance either the players or the sport as a product.{{more}}

Apart from the proliferation of leagues of various kinds in almost every possible community, we are now seeing a duplication of sorts with the All Leeward and All Windward competitions.

Whilst one will readily agree that they act as precursors of the popular Inter Community League Championships, are they not defeating the proffered intent?

Having teams play on successive days makes a mockery of our football set-up, erases the notion that it is for training ahead of the national competition.

Instead, they have been proven to act simply as competitions for quick fixes to ensure that they come to their end.

How much time would these teams have to plan and train ahead of the bigger and more popular national championships?

What about the assessment of the weaknesses, their strengths and seeking to correct or enhance, as the case warrants?

Wouldn’t they be burnt out from almost a full year of playing the sport?

One has to take into consideration that it is basically the same players who are called on to participate in their community leagues, the national club championships, the firms’ competitions, the street football competitions, with the roadside and hard court sweats also included.

It is from among these same players that the selectors have to look to fill the places in the senior national team.

This is so because even among our best set of players, in the main, they are free agents, play with any team, as they move as they please.

Therefore, it then becomes a painful exercise for the national team’s technical staffers, as the players then enter the semi-formal setting of a training regimen, after a heavy diet of shapeless conditioning and preparations.

No amount of talent and technical abilities that our players possess are getting them anywhere, as the bad habits have been so entrenched in them that muscle memory takes over.

Most of our players are deficient in tactical awareness and cannot adapt to changes or make decisions on the field which show knowledge of the sport.

Things are just revolving, as soon there will be much hype as the senior men’s team will once again be engaged in the four-year exercise of the World Cup.

The reality is that we are going to pull a squad together (as already started), have camps and a few friendly internationals before meeting Guyana in June in a tie.

Any number can play, as St Vincent and the Grenadines may or may not get over their opponents and advance to the next stage.

This is so because there remains that unplanned path towards achievement.

But we like it so, as the holders of offices continue to churn the wheel of progress in an anti-clockwise direction with much energy.

They are contented and have rubber stamped the manner in which the sport is being played — plenty football, endless competitions, while they hold the trophy of retardation aloft.

Having things run in an ad hoc manner is a delight to the national administrators, as it keeps the votes going, and assured as any other decisions, make these administrators unpopular and may cost them their offices and status.

Things keep going around in a circle, with everyone contented with getting the draw downs, the courses, the perks and maintaining our membership with football’s world governing body – FIFA.

Football needs a chartered course as the sport is running aground.