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Welcome Mr. Hall!

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A warm Vincentian welcome is extended to this country’s new Technical Director/Head Coach of the nation’s most popular sport, football, Stewart John Hall.

I am certain that the usual true unreserved Vincentian kindness would be extended to you. Enjoy the smiling faces, our scenery, lovely beaches, mountainous terrain and irresistible cuisine.{{more}} Lap up every moment, because you would not find such elsewhere in the world. Enjoy this, the only paradise on planet Earth. You are in the “Home of Hospitality”.

But do not get into a false sense of security in mistaking our rather laid back approach to life, for a people who are not serious and without our wits intact. This is furthest from the truth. I can caution you, though, that in your planned three years here, you are not here on a paid vacation.

This country does not possess financial nor much material wealth, but a human resource sporting capital which is worthy of investment. And, Football undoubtedly has a reservoir that is overflowing.

Expect natural athleticism and skill for the game from our footballers. However, anticipate in some instances some lackadaisical approaches, even by some at the senior level. Be patient but firm.

You would be under the microscope from day one, and you would have to work hard to endear yourself to the football public, and if you earn your stripes, then powers unto you. I wish that you do.

Don’t expect any bed of roses to lie on. Neither, do not look to be a popular person among the football lovers. In fact, you may just find you are complete opposite, but play the right chords, then we all would be singing lustily your chorus as back up singers. And, of course, coming from that part of the world, where coaches normally feel the wrath when things go wrong and are bathed in glory when the flip side is reached, so just feel at home.

An expectant Vincentian football fraternity would be anticipating instant results, but most of all improvements in the standard of play every time a national representative team enters the field of play.

Expect to be frustrated by the bureaucracy when it relates to the use of fields, as neither the clubs nor the federation possesses this important commodity.

The fields here are multi purpose, with a distinct bias towards cricket.

Mr. Hall , I expect you to work for every cent that you are paid. I expect you to devise programmes that would cater for every age group and both genders across St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and implement them. Another paper Technical Director with loads of literature, plans and lofty ambitions, yet no materialization of any thing substantial, yet feasting on the dinner table of the yearly funds through FIFA’s FAP. “ No sanky, nah sing so”, this time around.

I also expect that with your linkages with other established football entities to have our elite footballers given much exposure and training. It is my expectation that you, Mr. Hall, be impartial with team selection, and don’t be afraid to make some harsh decisions in the interest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ football development.

It is also my hope that you would be an independent minded person and respectful and sincere with your employers and I am sure you would get reciprocity.

The Bigger Picture

Your appointment for some may have come too late. But this depends on what are the objectives of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.

If then preparation of the senior national team for the World Cup Qualifiers versus Canada in June is the main objective of the employment, then it’s too late for my liking.

But the bigger picture, I am assured, is the holistic development of the football product. I know that this is the thinking of your employers.

Your plans to have coaches upgraded and better trained, sounds good. But I have heard it said several times already by your predecessors, but not done. Prove the skeptics, including me, wrong this time.

You seem to fit the bill, as your status as a single man, should give you more time to get the job done and devote time and energies in getting us to realise our true potential in football.

Are you the one to help us in this regard? Let us wait patiently and see. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Mr. Hall, this column wishes you well and extends a fruitful tenure to you. Show us what all your credentials mean.

While you are given such warm courtesies, a cold shoulder meets those who insist that the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field is an imperative.

kingroache@yahoo.com

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