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Brinkmanship to the extreme


Next week is another big test of our footballers.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be engaged in preliminary round action of the Digicel Caribbean Football Union Cup.

How that unit gels would be of interest first to fans here, and then to the entire region. The Vincy Heat has set a standard marked by their performance in the qualifying round for the 2006 World Cup.{{more}}

Vincy Heat did not advance, undone eventually by the Soca Warriors (Trinidad and Tobago).

After the Vincy Heat’s elimination, the nation joined the rest of the region in throwing its weight behind the Soca Warriors.

That escapade is over, the efforts fresh on the minds of the football fanatics who followed every match with gusto.

The distractions off field are only but sideshows to the task at hand, that of stablising our football to some level of acceptability so that we can prepare for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Some persons are perhaps more pragmatic, or realistic, and not as dogmatic as I am, and they are projecting towards 2014 in some instances and 2018 in the ideal case, for us to qualify to the final.

On reflection, 2004 was our closest call to World Cup qualification. There are yet many hurdles, which we have to overcome.

Complaints about lack of facilities have been perennial. Every coach, every official from time immemorial has been underlining the need.

We are probably at our lowest ebb ever in our quest to have that basic requirement.

There seems to be gamesmanship, or maybe brinkmanship to the extreme, and our football fortunes are being sacrificed on a pedestal of holding the reins of power. While that struggle proceeds and the grass of wastage grows, the football horse continues to starve.

In that jungle of uncertainty where no one can judge the surface properly, the nation is the loser.

There has to be some accommodation, and sporting facilities have to be provided for footballers and all the citizenry alike.

It cannot be a matter of chance that the talent is left to come to the surface. A systematic and sustained approach to technical and tactical development must be instilled into our crop of sport personality at an early age, so that it becomes a matter of course.

The game has gone beyond the display of mere ability. Brains have to be applied to team strategy, or we might continue to be mediocre, with glimpses and flashes of brilliance, moments of ecstasy, but nothing to show for our potential.