Now, more than ever
On Target
March 31, 2023

Now, more than ever

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Senior Men’s Football team’s campaign in the Concacaf Nations League, is over.

But most significantly, the team which represents the cream of our senior Football stock, finished dead last in the four team Group C of League B.

The Vincentian outfit failed to register a win in their six matches, losing to the Bahamas 0-1; Trinidad and Tobago 0-2 and 1-4; and Nicaragua 1-4.

They were able to eke out a 2-2 draw versus eventual group winners Nicaragua, as well as a 1-1 draw with the Bahamas.

The latter result was realised last Monday, March 27, at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

It was indeed a bitter showing by the team and more so, against opponents.

Certainly, the performance did not mirror the pedigree of the players when pooled. Neither was the investment spent on the cadre of overseas based ones, who were brought home.

Expectations were high that at least St Vincent and the Grenadines could have finished the CNL winning in front and appeasing the Vincentian crowd.

Instead, it was ninety minutes plus of individualism and nothing more to show, much to the chagrin of those at the arena and the others who viewed via television or live streaming.

In short, the team did not show to the Vincentian public that level of competence, normally associated with a Senior National Team.

This is not to say that Monday’s match, nor the sojourn in the Concacaf Nations League( CNL) should define our Football, but it says volumes of where we stand at present.

In saying so, the 2022/2023 performance in the CNL was a far cry from St Vincent and the Grenadines’ efforts in the inaugural Nations League in 2019 especially, when a second place behind Suriname was the country’s showing.

Things though have taken a turn for the worse, while St Vincent and the Grenadines would visibly have regressed, the other countries have taken the necessary corrective measures, hence, the latter are reaping the fruits of the inputs and astute administrative decisions.

This column is cognizant that there are other factors which are responsible for the others making strides.

As it is, they have invested heavily financially in their various programmes, especially their youth segment.

The same has to be the case with our Football authorities here, as they have to begin to think long term and simultaneously address the debilitating issues in the short term.

Likewise, applying any band aid will not cure the sores and lacerations; rather the ingestion of some laxatives will help, along with a dose of building up tonic.

Hence, Director of Technical Matters of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, Theon Gordon and his team have to off load many of the players who have served us well over the years.

It may be the appropriate time to give them their thank you letter as well as a card and bid them farewell to national selection and representation.

Higher up, the executive of the SVGFF has to be like minded and have a clear-cut pathway as to where they want the sport to go.

They have to agree that the sport needs a financial injection to help in the process of advancing from our current state.

Admittedly, getting to where we can attain our optimum will not be a walk in the park, but a requires a great amount of hard work and commitment by all stakeholders.

This, as there are some cultural practices that are so embedded in our footballers and football loving public that are hurdles to be mounted.

More so, nationally, our general culture has to take a different turn for us to make progress in Football, and any other sporting discipline for that matter.

These are the biggest impediments for us and will be a struggle until the mental psyche of Vincentians is changed towards life and living in general.

Despite the challenges, the present Football policy makers cannot give in but must continue to plug away, be better, and add value to the sport.

Time is running out for our administrators to act decisively, as within the next five months or so, our Senior Men’s Team will be in action again, as the next edition of the CNL will be in their faces.