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Nothing much to smile about


There was much noise about hosting the Finals of the Coca Cola Schools Football Competition on a Sunday.

Whilst not novel, it represented a deviation from the norm, and certainly was new to many of the modern day generation. But with all this said, the change was welcome, and should be here to stay.{{more}}

Maybe in this year’s competition one can also experiment with playing some of the preliminary matches also on the weekend.

Sunday’s hosting of the Final brought out families, and with Central Leeward Secondary involved in both finals, there was that tinge of community support.

Still it was not enough to create that banter and competitive atmosphere befitting the status of a final.

Additionally, the live television coverage of the Under-21 Final between the Dr. J P Eustace Memorial and the Central Leeward Secondary should be commended.

Those at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Secretariat, the School Games Committee, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation, congratulations on being the innovators.

It was also the first time that a female officiated, as Assistant Referee Mahalia Thomas created history for herself and her gender.

But that was the extent of the excitement, as there was not much to shout about in terms of the standard of play in the Finals.

It is ironic that such an achievement of live television coverage comes at a time when the footballers of today hold little interest in the sporting public’s mind. They are not household names; neither do they possess the talent to warrant such.

Harsh, but that is the way things are. It may be an indictment, but a truism, all the same.

Players of the recent past must be kicking themselves for coming at the wrong time, but that is the way life unfolds to us.

Therefore, if that is what is up for the offering, then our Football is many years behind and means that there is a mountain of work to be done to get our Football back to some sort of respectability.

One, however, cannot fault the players who were on show too much, as the structure of Football here is not only in transition, but now morphed under the aegis if the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.

Light, howeve,r exists with the various developmental programmes, the Grassroots, the zones, the community based teams, many of which were featured as a precursor to Sunday’s finals, in mini Football extravaganza.

It was evident in the Under-16 finals which featured the Central Leeward Secondary and the Bethel High School, one could have seen some touch Football coming through, as many of these players are products of some formal coaching.

Therefore, it is imperative that such continuous practice is fostered and sustained to the point of mastery.

One cannot help but lament the need for us to get primary schools Football back into the loop of sporting development.

That missing rung of the ladder is sorely missing, causing many players to play the sport at a competitive level when they are in their mid teens. Certainly, the jumbled, cluttered way in which the Under-21 final was played out is a manifestation of this observation.

The beginning of the rebirth of primary schools Football has already been laid out through the various coaching cells that are operational, and which pools many young footballers of the primary school age.

So the rest is left to the decision makers; those with the bright ideas and technical know how. One thing is certain is that there are many enthusiastic players who are waiting for the opportunity to show off their wares.

With the Ministry of Education and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation and other national sporting associations all singing the same melody, then it is time to get the show on the road.

So, the rest is left to the custodians of Football here to get the ball rolling.

Still there is nothing to smile about, as the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field remains.