September 9, 2011
Coombs plans to bring back Football’s glory days

Former President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) Venold Coombs promises to bring back Football in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

This he said can only be achieved if the affiliates elect him and his team when the election of a new Executive takes place on Saturday, September 24.

Coombs is vying for the presidency of the national body for the next four years, and former Executive member of the national Football set up, and former national player Lloyd Small and two other former Committee Members in Paul Boucher and Marvin Fraser are going forward for the three Vice Presidents.

Coombs, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday, mapped out the roadway towards achieving his team’s goals.

Touching almost every aspect of the sport, Coombs stated that among the priority areas is a “home for Football”.

“We will facilitate partnership with Cycling and Athletics as we all seek to build a case to take to government to have the Buccament Playing Field developed,” Coombs, who served as President of the national Football body from 1985 to 1990, said.

In building the sport at the league and club levels, Coombs proposes to have FIFA trained and qualified coaches and referees to all leagues, and ultimately a FIFA qualified coach to each club team.

The establishment of a semi professional league holds priority on Coombs and his team’s agenda.

Also critical to Coombs’ team plans, is the development of Youth Football.

“We are proposing to have a National Under-13 tournament, also work along with the Ministries of Education and Sports to take the process forward,” Coombs who has been involved in the administration of Football at the national level for 14 years added.

“Additionally, we plan to decentralize the Grassroots Programme so that it will uniformly represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines, instead of being mainly in Kingstown”, he advised.

“We also will re-invigorate Women’s Football at all levels and facilitate the establishment of a Players’ Association “, Coombs further projected.

Football clubs and leagues across the state can also rest assured that once Coombs is at the helm of the SVGFF, they will get financial assistance as start up and preparation grants, he promised.

In the sub region, the Windward Islands Tournament and the OECS Champion of Champions will restart, but this time at the Senior and Junior levels, as Coombs’ Executive plans to be the lead players in these competitions’ revival.

National players’ stipend will also be reviewed, likewise the players will be almost assured of getting time off when engaged in training for national teams as well as in regional and international competitions.

“We also propose to get two buses for the national teams and get concessions for use as a revenue earning venture too,” Coombs, under whose presidency, former FIFA President Joao Havelange visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Furthermore, those former players, many of whom have distinguished themselves and have become national Football icons, will also be looked after.

Coombs outlined that several past national players are in need of medical attention and the current Executive led by Joseph Delves has paid little attention to them.

Coombs singled out the plight of former stalwart defender Tyrone “Tweety” Spence, but said such an occurrence will be a thing of the past, once he is elected as President.

The former President outlined vigourous fundraising events such as Bingos, Raffles, Small Goal Competitions, Socceramas, in order to provide funding for his team’s proposed ventures.

He punched in the better use of the annual FIFA funds as part of getting his team’s plans come to fruition.

“We just want to back Football to where it was years ago, so that you will see the Victoria Park packed again with people, when players will feel satisfied that they have made a contribution to Football in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Coombs stated.

Coombs reiterated for this to happen, the affiliates have to vote for him and his team, as they bring “experience, commitment, love for Football and dedication to the game.”

Coombs will be coming up against Michael John and Patrick Horne for the position of President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.