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Get in the game

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It has been almost a year since this country’s senior Football team, Vincy Heat, was involved in a full international, or any sort of activity for that matter.{{more}}

This inactivity has not only led to the steady drop on the rankings on FIFA listing, but has also left the senior footballers rusty and unaware of their current abilities. In addition, the talents of these footballers are not being showcased, hence, the chances of being contracted on the regional or international scenes are dwindling with each passing day. Acquisition of a football contract is left to chance or to their pursuance.

As it stands, fewer of our national senior footballers are making a living out of the sport. Presently, except for the five or so players who are plying their trade in the semi-professional league in Trinidad and Tobago, another in Jamaica and two on professional contracts in Canada, the export list is bare.

This must not be slighted, as with the absence of a true national league here, the export of players should be paramount, as their expertise garnered from being exposed to Football day in day out will augment the national efforts.

No one can deny that the overseas-based Footballers bring something new to the national table when called upon. They also open up avenues for those based here at home, and at the same time give the amateurs something to strive for.

When one looks at the overall set up the world over, players are scattered everywhere enhancing their talent, which makes them better all round footballers. Stalwart defender Cornelius Huggins is a perfect example of what playing Football professionally can do to the whole man.

But whilst one understands the efforts of the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to build from the ground up, the already existing structure must also be catered for and maintained.

Having been intimately involved in the SVGFF’s current Youth Development Programme and already seeing the success and need of such an undertaking, if we are to stake a claim on the world’s Football stage, a corresponding parallel effort must be at the top tier.

The process must be two- fold, as continuity and sustainability are the targetted objectives. Overtime, the name “ Vincy Heat” was attaining branding status, in similar fashion that Trinidad and Tobago’s “Soca Warriors” and likewise Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz”. Sadly, the status of one of the region’s exciting and competitive outfits is slowing dissipating.

No longer is Vincy Heat a draw card, as requests for our skills as worthy opponents for warm up friendly internationals have lessened considerably. Again, this points back to the fact that the team has been resorted to being mainly visible whenever there is a regional or international competition.

As we remain stagnant, others in the region, who have not attained the heights we have, are fast slipping by, leaving us at the start line. We all know that the Executive of the SVGFF does not have much money to spend, neither does it possess a title sponsor, but greater effort and emphasis must be engaged to ensure that Vincy Heat comes out of hibernation. Otherwise, the next phase will be oblivion.

An opportune time presents itself, as available is a core of Under-20 players who are effervescent and eager to go after their achievements in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and CONCACAF Qualifiers. These players can be weaved in with the existing senior representatives to start looking ahead to other qualifications, namely, the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, while tending to the Youth Programme.

Are we going to wait until the next competition to pull some players together and start training and then expect to do well? Too long this has been the modus operandi, and it is high time that we get in the game, and continuously prepare our national teams systematically.

Let us cut the red tape and the flurry and get down to business with our senior national team as we embark to get the image of Vincentian Football back to the place it once occupied.

But there is certainly no place for the continued existence of the “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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