January 30, 2009
More professionalism needed in local Football

The abundance of football talent evident here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not enough to get this country to the higher levels.

Joining in the list of observers was former Arsenal defender Gus Caesar.{{more}}

The English-born Caesar, whose father is Vincentian, was guest of Second Vice President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, Raymond Trimmingham, and had a first-hand look at some of this country’s top footballers, including the national Under-20 team’s participation in the recent Caribbean Zone Finals.

But his assessment of the young footballers was mixed.

“When I saw them training, I did not give them any chance,” Caesar recalled.

However, his feelings changed after seeing them in action in the match versus the Dominican Republic and subsequently versus Haiti.

Caesar thought that had the players been accustomed to playing at a higher level regularly, the result against Jamaica could have been different.

“There is obviously good talent; they are very young, not to say they are close to 20, and when you have a 16-year-old in your team, then they are young guys,” Caesar, a former England international player, who earned three caps, added.

But he thinks their development must not be left to chance, but must be guided through proper systematic coaching and development.

Caesar, who had 44 appearances for Arsenal in England, which spanned from 1982 to 1990, in that country’s top flight, wants to see a greater level of professionalism all round, as this country can go places.

Here primarily to see how he can help in the area of football development, Caesar was quick to point out to SEARCHLIGHT that he was not seeking “to take anybody’s job from them”.

“I am here to see how I can work closer with persons here and what assistance I can give,” Caesar said.

Caesar is currently working with a club in Hong Kong known as Sai Kung, where he is an advisor on technical matters.

Apart from Caesar, the recent Under-20 Caribbean Zone Finals also saw the presence of Trinidad and Tobago’s Under- 20 Coach, and former Technical Director of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football, Serbio Montenegro-born Zoran Vranes, as well as the USA Under-20 Coach Thomas Rongen.

Trinidad and Tobago, as hosts, and the USA are into the Finals of the CONCACAF zone in March, as four teams from this Confederation seek four places in the Under-20 World Cup Finals in Egypt in September/October.

An Assistant Coach of South Florida University, Fred Dikranian, was also here for the Finals, on a scouting mission for young football talent. (RT)