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Football Federation honeymoon over!

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It has been just over two and a half months since the new Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation was voted into office. For many it was with great anticipation that they should see the brighter days.

Overwhelmingly caressed into office by leagues and clubs, the Joseph Delves Executive promised a good relationship with all the stakeholders of Football.{{more}}

Whilst there aren’t any revealing signs of infidelity between the elected unit and the affiliates, the period of honeymoon, in my opinion, has come to an end.

The test of the longevity of this Executive and its commitment to the cause of Football begins at the turn of the new year.

The prospects of a fruitful four-year tenure, in the first instance, are still on the cards, but must be accelerated with a greater force and tenacity.

The past couple of months have given the new Executive time to get its feet wet. But the time has come for the Delves’ administration to begin to deliver.

Whilst the Executive shows persons with football pedigree, their acumen must be translated into productivity. Seemingly missing from the entire set up is a work horse or two to do the “bull work” of the Executive.

I am aware that there are several things that are happening with regard to football development. However, the public needs to be updated more frequently about these developments.

An “in your face” approach must be adopted soonest, not only to whip up support for the World Cup campaign, but also to seek to optimise opportunities to garner public confidence.

Our meeting with Canada in June is fast approaching, and the opportunities of further selling St. Vincent and the Grenadines should be capitalized on.

Stamping their authority as gate keepers of the sport must be paramount, as regaining lost ground must be fast tracked.

Pertinent to the new year and the operations of the Executive is a restructuring of the game. Executives go, Executives come, and it is the same old khaki pants, as players continue to flout the one club stipulation. This issue must be put to rest.

The panacea is the insistence on the club structure, which would eventually give birth to a true national league

The current Executive must demonstrate that it has the will and the skill to correct the mistakes of the past, while at the same time consolidating on what was left in good shape.

The holistic development of the game, i.e. strengthening the administrative capacity at the league levels, officiating, the enrichment of coaches and players of both sexes, sports medicine, futsal, beach football, branding and marketing of the sport, and, of course, a positive football image, should all be in concert.

Likewise, the appointment of a Technical Director who is willing to serve our football, while accepting the pay packet with our limited financial resources, adds another dimension to the entire set up.

Getting more of our young players out on professional contracts also scaffolds the process, paralleling this with a steady flow of international matches involving our senior team.

Pivotal to all of the SVGFF’s programmes is partnering with the corporate sector and central government, but this can only be achieved if the custodians are able to sell football as a viable outlet.

Achieving this commercial link would be the perfect aperitif to fillip the forward movement of the sport.

Delves and his Executive are not expected to be pampered by the regional bodies, nor to be the recipients of any hand outs, at least not as this juncture. Neither are they expected to overly rely on the annual draw down from FAP Funds, to be the mammary glands of its financial sustenance.

This Executive, more than any in the past, has its work cut out, as today’s challenges are magnified with heightened interest, granted the perceived political overtones which surrounded its election.

Its every step would be measured with watchful eyes and tongues of castigation.

The onus, then, is on the good gentlemen to put their shoulders to the wheel and propel with vigour, football, the sport we love so much.

As we enter another year, the eyesore of the “Mound”, continues to detract from the setting at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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