June 27, 2008
SVGFF warming cold soup?

It will be interesting to see if promises of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) are followed through.

In what has become an all too familiar occurrence following this country’s exit from the four year exercise of the World Cup campaign, President of the SVGFF, Joseph Delves, last Sunday, at a press conference at the ET Joshua Airport, made known his organisation’s plans to continue to work with the senior team despite their elimination from the World Cup.{{more}}

Delves promised that the national senior team will be involved in international friendly matches.

He outlined the intention to revive the Windward Islands Tournament among the four islands.

Contending that travel cost was a mitigating factor, Delves said, “the smaller islands need to compete”.

The football boss reiterated that his organisation is mainly developmental, hence the plans that are in train, will be followed.

“Everything continues a pace, once you have systems, coaches come and coaches go”, Delves advised.

He made mention of the presence of equipment to begin the island wide youth development programme, which is part of the federation’s pet projects.

Delves was already looking ahead to the 2014 Word Cup campaign, stating that the focus on the national Under 17 and the Under -20 teams is critical as this country seeks to stake a claim on Football in the region.

He also outlined the federation’s efforts to ensure that more players get international exposure through the procurement of professional contracts.

As part of the scaffolding of young players, Delves disclosed that the Under-20’s will be heading to the USA in August, to engage universities there.

Last year, a Virginia University team visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and played two matches against local outfits. That engagement was organized by then President of the SVGFF St. Clair Leacock and Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines lost to Canada last week Friday night at the Maputo Stadium in Montreal 4-1, with braces from Dwayne De Rosario and Ali Gerba. The consolation goal for St. Vincent and the Grenadines came from the boot of captain Marlon James. The Canadians had the previous Sunday beaten St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3-0, here.

Delves said that in his estimation, the team played better than during the first leg here last week Sunday. James shared this view, and said he thought the employment of the 3-5-2 system was responsible for the team’s improved display.

Captaining his country for the first time, James said it was an honour to do so.

Delves said the level of support from the Vincentians in the disapora was “fantastic”.

“They were helpful in lifting the team’s spirit”, Delves added.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines began its quest to reach the World Cup Finals in 1992. And, on all four occasions, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004, this country reached the semi final or group phase of the CONCACAF Zone. This is the first time that this country has not emerged from the preliminaries, albeit now in a restructured format.

And, on each occasion, glowing plans were unveiled by past heads, of building on the hype created by the World Cup campaigns.

Many, who were around back in 1992, may well take Delves’ pronouncements with a pinch of salt, as they have heard those before, yet no corrective measures were taken. (RT)