Coaches need to work with the youths
November 23, 2010
Coaches need to work with the youths

The eight:nil loss by this country’s National Male Under-20 Football Team, last Friday night at the Victoria Park, against Trinidad and Tobago, is seen as a “reality check” for all concerned with the development of the sport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

This assessment was made by the local team’s coach, Kendale Mercury.

“It is not only a loss, but it is a wake-up call and reality check for all of the coaches here, managers and the Football Federation,” Mercury said to SEARCHLIGHT, last Friday night at the Victoria Park.

“When I did my first analysis of these players and see that eighty-five percent of them were playing at first division, not even at the national first division, but at the league first division, I know what we were up against,” he stated.

“So I am sending out an appeal to all the coaches, work with the youths, give them chances, don’t just stick them in the first division just because you want to make up a team, you have to work with them and realize that they have lots of weaknesses,” Mercury appealed.

Comparing his current charges with the 2008 and 2009 team, this country’s most successful Under-20 outfit to date, Mercury said: “As I always said, this team is way far behind the last Under-20 team we had.”

Mercury, who coached the 2008-2009 team, saw them through to the second spot behind Jamaica in the finals of the CFU competition.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines then lost to Honduras 1-3 in a play-off for the last place in the CONCACAF Final.

Meanwhile, Mercury’s counterpart in last Friday’s match, former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Technical Director Zoran Vranes, also told SEARCHLIGHT that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was always behind in comparison to his team.

“You cannot expect to play against Trinidad, who have good players, not only at (the) club (level), [but] lots of support, facilities and top games before a tournament. So it is impossible to be competitive against them, “ said the Serbia Montenegro-born Vranes.

Prior to coming here for last Friday’s match, Trinidad and Tobago Under-20s were involved in a string of international matches in Venezuela, as part of a six-team Bolivar Cup tournament, which saw participation from Cameroon, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and the host.

On the other hand, the Vincentians’ preparations were confined to encounters against local teams.

Vranes, who spent six years here as Football’s Technical Director, and who would have coached some of the Under -20 players, including Captain Myron Samuel, expressed that St. Vincent has talent as well as some potential, but players will have to be on the team for longer periods to beat other teams and realise their potential.

Vranes is not ruling out coming back here as Technical Director, but said it will be dependent on the right conditions. (RT)