Feel the Heat
On Target
August 25, 2023

Feel the Heat

Vincentians and more so lovers of Football, for the next three months, will be on a heavy diet of international Football.

This, as the senior male and female teams will be in action in their quest for glory in the Concacaf Nations League.

As such, the Men’s team – Vincy Heat , as well as the Women’s outfit – Lady Heat will have a combined 12 matches, beginning September 8 and ending December 5.

Vincy Heat campaigns in Group C of League B, while Lady Heat is listed in Group F, also of League B.

Shared in equal proportion, both teams are down to have three home matches and the corresponding number of matches away.

Vincy Heat meets Belize on September 8 in Belize, before hosting Bermuda here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field on September 12.

The next window — October 13, Vincy Heat hosts French Guiana, before jetting off to face the said opponents on their home turf in the return fixture, on October 17.

Then on November 17, Vincy Heat is away to Bermuda, before entertaining Belize, here at home.

Meanwhile, the fixtures for Lady Heat away to Barbados on September 22, and hosts Barbados, four days later.

October 27, Independence Day, Lady Heat host the Dominican Republic and play the reverse fixture on October 31.

Lady Heat’s last two matches are set for Bermuda, in their away match December 1 and versus Barbados, here at the Arnos Vale venue on December 5.

For certain, the heat should be soaring as St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Football seeks to reposition itself on the regional scene.

Effectively, it is new ground for the women, as they are entering a different phase, with the Nations

League, an inaugural venture for them. Hence, one may have a softer spot on the females, as they will be assessed on their present performance.

But the light will definitely shine on the males, who are in the post Kendale Mercury era, as a different configuration and relatively new players.

Significantly, Vincy Heat will be guided through the qualifiers (unless anything changes) by Director of Technical Matters – Theon Gordon.

Undoubtedly, that team will be under great scrutiny by all who follow the sport, given its poor showing from their last outing in 2022/2023.

The facts show that Vincy Heat was only able to muster two points, resulting from home draws against Nicaragua and the Bahamas. On the other end, they were beaten in all three away games, against Nicaragua, Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago as well as against the latter in their other home fixture.

Lovers of Football have been starved of that assurance that our flagship team will turn the tide and give them something to jump, wave and shout about.

They have had to endure a painful journey through the last Nations League and ahead of their early exit during the World Cup Qualifiers.

The drought came on the heels of a fairly successful sojourn in the debut season of the Nations League, staged in 2018 and 2019.

Therefore, the second place allowed St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Vincy Heat a possible shot at a Concacaf Gold Cup place.

The final outcomes are immaterial, as they are irreversible.

Looking ahead, getting off to a good start is paramount, as getting Vincentians to rally behind the team is critical.

Therefore, the onus is on the all the operatives of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football

Federation, inclusive of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to ensure that moral support is garnered, especially for the teams’ home matches.

This is against the realities that there has not been any visible local exposure of the Vincy Heat team.

Hopefully, there will be an attempt to have them engaged in one or two friendly internationals to prick local interest.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, hence, Gordon and company will have the task to turn things around, as Vincy Heat will be judged on their results.

As St Vincent and the Grenadines prepare for the assessment of the national Football programme, via the Concacaf Nations League matches, let our pride and love of country take precedence.