Jun 15, 2016 Letters
The further a team or a player advances in a competition, the tougher the opponent becomes. Thus minimal mistakes and intensified preparations are essential towards achieving additional success. As a consequence, it came as no surprise to that Curacao ranked 152nd, which was once our whipping boys was able to inflict a 5-2 drubbing, over the perceivable “toothless Jaguars”, when the two teams clashed in a CFU qualifier, at the Ergilio Hato Stadium, on 01. 06. 16.
Editor, from all indications the 5-1 mauling at the expense of the visiting Canadians under-23 Olympic squad, taught the coaching/technical staff of the 132nd ranked Guyana, virtually nothing. Please note that the Head Coach, Curacao, Patrick Kluivert, was a former Netherlands International who in 2014 was a member of the Dutch lineup coaching staff in Brazil, en-route to securing the bronze medal for their 3rd place finish. Of the three coaches over the 2 matches the Jaguars Head Coach, Bro Jamal Shabbaz, is way out of depth. While our very own Wayne “Wiggy” Dover is probably 10 paces behind.
Until and unless our local coaches attend “quality overseas FIFA accredited courses to challenge their regional counterparts in CFU, the end result would be more devastating, further afield in CONCACAF. Additionally, a few local players should be seeking tryouts with professional teams in Venezuela. Take Cuba for instance, despite all the economical hardship and a 50 years old economic embargo imposed by Uncle Sam, despite it all, the Cubans with an extremely serious policy for football development, over 15 years ago, recruited a Colombian, Senor Penarol as their Head Coach. While Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, can’t be overlooked. Cause it what it may the Haitians with Gold Cup participation under their belt, previously, is a representative of CFU/CONCACAF Copa Centenario, which kicked off in the USA, from June, 3 along with Jamaica.
In the final analysis, “flowery speeches and sweet talk will not develop local football, but rather a complete metamorphosis, encompassing eliminating the Jurassic style of administrative leadership along with playing of Stone Age football.” This statement was made by a former national player, turned coach the late Ashton “Chucker” Taylor, also former President, Pele FC at a General Council meeting, of the then Georgetown Football League, over 15 years ago.
Fast forward to 2016 and what do we have for football as a “marketable product” towards acquiring much needed sponsorship? An 8 team Elite League with the top 3 teams securing goal differences of 35, 12 and 25 respectively; with the respective points of 40, 34 and 30 for Slingerz FC, Fruta Conquerors and Alpha United. Interestingly the 4th and 5th place, Pele and GDF with 17 points each are minus in single digits, -5 and -6 respectively. The 6th, 7th and 8th are all minus in double digits, of: -10, -25 and -25 accumulating 11 points, 6 points and 5 points respectively. Shouldn’t this equation be an area of concern for the GFF’s Technical Department, moreover, in the absence of supportive League with almost double the amount of teams, drawn from all the associations?
Likewise, a similar trend should follow suit with age-limit competitions from both male and female. In defeating USVI by a 7-0 margin, in a round 2 fixture, is nothing serious to rejoice about. Since the hosts ranked at 192, are 60 places below the Golden Jaguars. With round three scheduled for October, 3-11, strengthening the Coaching staff, with the acquisition of probably, Clyde “Oiler” Watson a former Guyanese National, whose previous coaching experience with the USA female Olympic and World Cup squads remains a significant asset to coaching at the national level locally. Additionally, two friendly internationals against quality opponents, along with a high profile training camp abroad. But finance is a major bugbear. While sports is no longer sports, rather serious business, attracting meaningful sponsorship locally to defray expenses, would more than likely be our “Achilles Heel”.
When ayuh will wake up?
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By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
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