Home at last!
On Target
October 29, 2021
Home at last!

Earlier this week, the news formally broke that the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) has made a purchase of five acres of prime land at Cane Grove.

Whilst the announcement would have been somewhat belated, as there were some inklings that the national football organisation had finalized the process for some time now; the news was still welcomed.

For many years, there have been pronouncements, promises and overtures made by previous football executives, to have such facility to be called “Home for Football”.

However, in the past we have counted our chickens before they had actually hatched, hence the football -loving public may have resorted to the “pie in the sky” approach, as it related to constructing such a facility.

Truth be told, the previous executives and their respective presidents, all had the desire to see that important achievement come to fruition.

Yes, they possessed the will, but there were always obstructions and other debilitating circumstances.

But it is said, nothing happens before its time, and this juncture has to be the designated period for the realization of that long-awaited and highly-anticipated facility.

Credit though must be given to current president of the SVGFF, Carl Dickson, who weighed his campaign heavily on the realization of a Home for Football, as part of his electoral wooing two years ago.

It must be a good feeling for Dickson, when a plan comes together as promised and within a reasonable time, granted that his predecessors were unable to walk the talk.

With the first hurdle crossed, it comes now to the business end of the process; the actual construction of the multiplex. As planned by the SVGFF’s executive, the facility when built, will contain a full -sized football field, a Futsal field, along with a Technical Centre.

The latter, according to the proposed designs, the Technical Centre will be able to accommodate two teams and their officials.

Indeed, such a facility is in keeping with the growing development of modern-day sporting facilities.

No one can deny that football is in need of a place to call home. Undoubtedly, the sport remains the most popular sport here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and is deserving of one.

Administrators, footballers and supporters of the sport, have all endured the ups and downs, having to compete with other sporting disciplines, cultural and religious groupings, for space to carry out the national football programme.

This makes the undertaking by the SVGFF at this phase of national development, all the more important.

It means that plans of the SVGFF can go ahead unobstructed, inclusive of the various national competitions.

Additionally, St Vincent and the Grenadines will have a readily available playing surface to host international matches, hence the football authorities would not have to always be in conversation with the National Sports Council, to have these matches played at their facilities.

Similarly, the erection of the Futsal pitch, will not only provide that aspect of the sport with the infrastructure, but it positions the country to host regional Futsal competitions.

Too, the football facilities stock and by extension the national sporting infrastructure assets would be increased and place the country in a better standing.

On the economic side of things, the planned facility will require a reasonable construction period.

For this, several sectors of the Vincentian community stand to benefit, as there will be spin-off during the construction phases.

Thereafter, there will be the need for maintenance of the facility, ensuring employment for different occupations of the national workforce.

When aggregated, the benefits of a Home for Football, given the plans unfolded by the SVGFF, are substantial and sustainable.

Caution though must be the watch word, as having a Home for Football, does not immediately translate into better performances by players and collectively by the various St Vincent and the Grenadines representative teams.

What then must be done? Our football is at a crossroad, and all the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle must begin to come together.

A modern football facility alone cannot cut it. Quality coaches, strong clubs, a structure national football programme, students of the game and more significantly, administrators who possess love to see the sport improve exponentially.

The national football administrators have to begin to map up their growth chart and stop leaving things to evolve, instead plan and execute systematically.