Vows to change fortunes this year
By Michael Benjamin
The Fruta Conquerors Football Club (FCFC) has, in the past, defeated some of the best local clubs and has etched its name as one of the top units locally. However, despite the efforts of administrators to solidify its coveted place among the best, the club has suffered severe setbacks last year that have forced its administrators to implement new strategies that could see the club reinstating itself to the top echelons as in previous years.
President of the club, Wayne Forde, engaged Kaieteur Sport in discussions yesterday afternoon and was particularly concerned about the club’s performance over the past year. “We tried our best but our senior players did not do so well,” Mr. Forde admitted. He said that he was somewhat disappointed that they had lost out in their signature event, the Namilco tournament, after losing to Santos FC. Notwithstanding, the Fruta Conquerors boss said that his club managed to salvage some pride after defeating the powerful Guyana Defence Force squad in the third place playoff. Mr. Forde is also disappointed with their first round loss to Pele FC when the two teams faced off in the Banks Players Cup in Berbice and the first game loss to Monedderlust in the GFA/Banks Beer knockout tournament, December last.
That apart, Mr. Forde is adamant that the many positives emanating from the club have overshadowed the negatives. He said that there have been distinct improvements in the club’s infrastructure with the stands, lighting and the club house undergoing rehabilitation. He said that this could not have been done devoid of the input of several corporate entities and individuals. He singled out Managing Director of the National Milling Company (NAMILCO), Bert Sukhai and his equal at the Guyana Beverage Inc, Robert Selman for special commendation. “These two gentlemen have supported our programmes in thick and thin and Fruta Conquerors FC feels indebted to them for their input,” exhorted Mr. Forde.
Mr. Forde praised his fellow executives for their diligence and commitment but laments that their hard work could be reduced to naught if the status quo remains unchanged. He was referring to the unfair practices of some administrators who encourage top players to defect to their clubs after another entity would have contributed immensely to their development during their formative period.
“Fruta Conquerors utilizes over seventy five percent of its budget in youth development programmes and it is certainly disheartening when clubs with huge financial resources poach on our players after they would have attained high standards at our expense,” lamented Mr. Forde. He further labeled this act as counterproductive and feels that at the minimum, clubs should be reimbursed a percentage of their investments as compensation.
“I am surprised, even appalled that some clubs could actually operate devoid of youth programmes while luring away talent from other clubs that have sacrificed immensely towards this initiative, while GFF officials refuse to implement laws to protect affected clubs and ensure that they are adequately compensated,” Mr. Forde said. He said that in the absence of such implementations by the parent company, executives of the Fruta Conquerors FC will carefully review participation of all culpable clubs in tournaments organized by Fruta Conquerors FC.
Mr. Forde said that his executives have shifted their sights to the continued developmental works with the intention of changing the club’s fortunes.
“We are cognizant of the expectations of our key stakeholders and huge fan base and we embrace those expectations while understanding that we must be willing to implement those changes deemed necessary to meet those high expectations,” assured the Fruta Conquerors’ boss. He said the NAMILCO tournament is slated for late April early May and his administrators are keen on regaining supremacy. “We will be content to place among the top three teams in other high profile tournaments while we continue the developmental works,” explained Mr. Forde. He is imploring all stakeholders and supporters of the club to exercise patience while reassuring them that Fruta Conquerors executives have put the necessary modalities in place to change the flagging fortunes of the club.
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