On Target
May 31, 2019
Putting the best on show

Last week, the draw was revealed and the dates set for the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.

Placed in Tier B of the Nations League, the revelations are that St Vincent and the Grenadines will play Nicaragua in Nicaragua, September 5, and host Dominica, September 8.

Suriname will be hosted by the Vincentians on October 11 and the two teams will play the reverse fixture, October 14 in Suriname.

Then, St Vincent and the Grenadines host Nicaragua on November 14, and will be away to Dominica, November 18.

Mirroring some similarities to the FIFA World Cup qualifications, the CONCACAF Nations League is a good opportunity for St Vincent and the Grenadines to begin once again to not be a participant, but a contender.

Whilst one readily accepts that our football does not have the more than efficient structures that facilitates and charts sureties for on field successes, there is no excuse for not making the best and doing the best in the six matches listed above.

 This juncture hence is a platform for the national administrators to put the systems in place to ensure that St Vincent and the Grenadines be counted at the top by November 18.

With some degree of honesty, emerging from this group is not far-fetched, nor should it be seen as a dream to be pursued.

Rather, our sojourn should be one of confidence, intense preparations, commitment and focused for all those who are involved.

In fact, St Vincent and the Grenadines could not have asked for a better draw, as there are familiarities with their three opponents.

As it is, Dominica, granted the political and geographic history, have regular engagements with St Vincent and the Grenadines, with the most recent being last February here during the Windward Islands Football Association senior tournament.

In the case of Nicaragua, St Vincent and the Grenadines hosted that outfit, as the two kicked off their Nations League qualifiers, last September.

And, St Vincent and the Grenadines last played Suriname in the Caribbean Football Cup in 2016.

The technical officials, with all their data at their disposal, should be working overtime, as St Vincent and the Grenadines embark on their bid to advance and place football higher up the pecking order, relative to the other CONCACAF nations. 

Getting the best possible results against the three foes, ( Nicaragua, Suriname and Dominica) would not be simple, as equally, they too, would have the same mind-set.

It would require the collective efforts from the players, the sport’s administrators, and with a rallying nation behind them, we should be in good stead. 

Whilst one respects coaches’ and technical directors’ philosophy, it must be confessed that the current crop of national players, does not provide them with the comfort going to a tournament of such nature.

Putting the best set of players on show may require seeking out eligible players who can potentially produce the best results.

Careful handling of the players in light of the reality that St Vincent and the Grenadines is into the festive Carnival period, add to the mental and physical demands of the team’s preparations.

This should also test the acumen of the technical and management personnel of the team.

 But there is much in the offing for our football and maximising this period is paramount.

The well fashioned CONCACAF Nations League provides teams in the region the opportunity to really and truly get their houses in order, and take the sport of football in an upward direction.

St Vincent and the Grenadines must therefore get with it and gave the country to smile for.