Our Readers' Opinions
September 13, 2011
We need programmes to develop our footballers

Tue, Sept 13. 2011

Editor: In this the 21st century, it was disheartening to hear the NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM’S C0ACH say in an interview that Guatemala was miles ahead of us, and we have nothing to be ashamed about losing 4-0.{{more}} The task was his to prepare the team and to take the blame if we were not fully prepared, as, with his experience and knowledge, [and I am not questioning this], a lot more time should have been spent molding the players together.

As our MOTTO goes, “it’s not the size of the country but the quality of the teamwork that counts”. The benchmark has always been the 1979 and 1981 team that virtually put St. Vincent on the regional stage as a football force to be recognized. This team had mostly skilled players that played above their potential because they were super fit, but even as we boast about them, the coach was not experienced in football above our national level, hence our reason for never winning any major tournaments at the time.

My writing is not to criticize the players, but the training system which has not improved since; players change, but the system still remains in getting the squad together a month before a major tournament, and expecting the best. If improved results are to be expected, players have to be comfortable with each other on the field to take the game to higher levels and that means more time together as a squad. I might be wrong, but I believe it’s the coach’s job to take our inexperienced players and mold them into a unit to compete against better teams and this is why we have invested so heavily in acquiring this accomplished professional. I know this is easier said than done, but instead of downplaying our loss, he should be thinking of programmes to develop the players mentally and physically, rather than making them feel relieved after an inadequate performance.

The current executive has given us the GOLD PROJECT which, on its completion, will give us the resources needed to properly prepare our team to compete on these higher levels. So, let us all look forward to real development of our game.

There are a lot of things seriously wrong with our football if our quality seems to be retarded, so a systematic plan has to be implemented to change this. Football elections are upcoming and aspiring leaders are professing ways to take football forward. I believe that managing football is a job that requires a full-time effort and dedication, working with honesty, commitment and accountability. I could only hope the new executive starts early with a new focus and drive, working together to improve all aspects of the game we love so much.


Midge Ballantyne