November 10, 2006

“Players must attend more practice”

Despite triumphing in the Independence Cup here last weekend, Technical Director of this country’s football set up Zoran Vranes wished for a different result.

“I was looking for a bad result”, Vranes said boldly in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT SPORTS last Monday.

Vranes’ stance came against his disappointment with players’ “poor attendance at training and their attitude”.{{more}}

He was hoping that a defeat would have added some change in his charges’ outlook towards the training sessions.

Vranes blamed this attitude as an addendum to the lack of the team’s physical fitness.

He attributed the under par performance in the just concluded Independence Cup against Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda to fitness.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines beat Grenada 4-1, and drew with Antigua and Barbuda 2-2, but Vranes observed, “We played well in (the) first half and first fifteen minutes of the second half then nothing”.

“Our problem is fitness, we’re very much behind … We are not in the shape as we were three weeks ago”, Vranes said.

“We cannot play three matches in five days”, he lamented ahead of Vincy Heat’s second round assignment in the Digicel Cup in Barbados November 19-23.

Vranes’ concerns over players’ general attitude are shared by team manager Roxell John.

“Attendance has been poor since we returned from Trinidad and Tobago. Persons have been coming but not consistent enough”, John said.

“It is important for players to understand to be more consistent to practice as they will challenge others for positions”, John stated.

John said that the lack of attendance at practice is hampering team selection.

The team manager concurred with Vranes that the players are not “psychologically focussed” as they were prior to their outing last September to Jamaica for the first round.

The team manager stated that an incentive and fine system has been put in place to address the problems of absenteeism and punctuality.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines are preparing to face Bermuda November 19, Barbados two days later and the Bahamas November 23 for one of two places from that group in the finals slated for January 31 to February 11, 2007.

In the meantime Vranes is relying on the optimism that “hopefully we (will) get very serious”.