June 30, 2015
SVGFF keeping faith with local coaches

Once the current executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) is in place, it would be a long time before a non-national is employed as technical director or head coach of the local football set-up.{{more}}

Satisfied with their present choices, president of the SVGFF Venold Coombs made this known at a press conference yesterday at the SVGFF’s office at Bentick Square.

“We have very competent technical and well equipped persons here who are doing a great job…. I am satisfied with them and I know these are people who would do their best where we are concerned,” Coombs said.

The football head indicated that several technical courses held here and abroad over the past three years have further helped in scaffolding the coaches’ acumen.

Heading the football programme here as technical director is Keith Ollivierre, with senior head coach Cornelius Huggins.

The two, both former national players, were appointed in 2012, following the departure of Englishman Colwyn Rowe, who held both posts.

Rowe is one of several foreign coaches who, over the years, have been employed by the SVGFF. But Coombs does not buy into the suggestion that such persons will be able to change things at this time.

“They will not be able to do more than what our local coaches are doing; we have brought foreign coaches here over the years, and the most they have done is to take our money out, and we [have] stay[ed] the same or worse,” Coombs defended.

“When they come here, you pay them all your money and they leave you bankrupt and your football is the same place … It robs you from certain aspects of your development,” Coombs added.

In reviewing the performance of the last coach, Coombs bluntly remarked: “There was nothing done to advance our football … There is nothing physical… You cannot refer to not one thing.

“The average ranking (FIFA) under the coaches that we have for the senior team is a little over a hundred … The one before it was one sixty something,” Coombs noted, as he made the comparisons.

Coombs, however, is open to foreign personnel only on the basis that it would not be at the expense of the SVGFF.

“If we get as an aid package some top of the line coach to come in to work along with the coaches that we have, fine,” Coombs proffered.

Since the Ollivierre/Huggins combination has been in place, St Vincent and the Grenadines has advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Zone 2014 World Cup qualifiers, as well as made the semi-finals group stage of the Caribbean Cup on two successive occasions – 2012 and 2014.

In addition, St Vincent and the Grenadines has advanced to the second phase of the Olympic men’s Under-23 qualifiers and both the senior men and women’s teams earlier this year of the Windward Islands Football Association’s tournaments.(RT)