September 2, 2011
Horne says he’s out to save SVG’s Football

Patrick Horne, who is vying for the top post of President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), thinks he is the best man for the job, given his wide range of talents.{{more}}

Horne, who was born here, and grew up in the Central Leeward town of Layou, is based in New York, USA. He is a former professional footballer with experience as an administrator and coach of the sport, and is a Certified Teacher who also holds a Master’s Degree in Education, and has a deep passion for the game.

Horne, the first person to announce his candidacy, back in May, is entering the September 24 elections under the theme: “Let’s save Football in SVG”.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT last Monday night from his New York home, Horne said: “I developed the theme ‘Let’s Save Football in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ because this is the task for the team that I will be working with.”

Horne, who is set to arrive here on September 7, to continue his campaign, revealed that he already has a team of locally based persons on his slate, who are in sync with his outlook.

Taking a glum view of the current SVGFF Executive, led by Joseph Delves, he said: “Football in St. Vincent is at its lowest ebb, so the commitment, professionalism and honesty that our team brings to Football is the change that is needed to save the game in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Horne believes that with no leadership, there will be no professionalism.

“I want bring that level of professionalism and commitment to administrating Football in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is lacking in the present administration,” he added.

“I also want to bring new, different, enlightened and creative thinking to the game, which helps to create an atmosphere conducive to success: a professional approach to the game by all, administrators, coaches, referees and players,” he stated.

A big thinker, Horne believes it is not out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ reach to make it to the prestigious World Cup Finals.

However, he reiterated that that thinking must begin off the field with the right administrators of the sport in place.

Also in his mapping to that eventual success, Horne said the National teams, Under-15, Under-17, Under-20, Under-23, and Seniors, must qualify for CONCACAF and FIFA tournaments.

“An Administration’s success is reflected in teams’ accomplishments,” Horne declared.

In his forty years of involvement in Football in the USA, Horne has spent 25 of those years in the US College Programme.

“As a College Football Coach, I manage the entire programme recruiting and training footballers, men and women, who must also succeed in their academics, monitor students’ grades, advise them and oversee their overall development, among other things,” Horne, who was an active player of the Hairoun Football Club in New York in the 1980’s recounted.

“I can prepare our young student athletes for scholarships in U.S. schools, as I have the contacts to place them in schools”, Horne revealed.

Horne said that several Vincentians have benefitted from his assistance in the past, as they have gained scholarships to US Colleges, gained education and promoted their general well being.

“The game(Football) could teach much to youngsters and impact their lives positively; could play a critical role in the country by instilling national pride”, Horne, who is also a Sports Journalist, supported.

Optimistic of his team’s chances of being voted into office, Horne projected: “We will assess every aspect of the game in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and make the necessary changes to enhance the Football – refereeing, coaching education, structure and players’ overall development.”

Horne said that among his plans are to have a players’ handbook, coding the expectations, discipline, dress code etc. of the players, which he said is critical if this country’s Football is to get to the next level.

Adopting an all inclusive approach, Horne advanced: “Everyone in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Diaspora has a part to play in developing the game, the government, schools, private sector, general public, the media, everyone”.

Apart from Horne, businessman Michael John and one former president of the national Football body Venold Coombs have publicly declared their ambitions of contesting the top spot.