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After the campaign, what’s next?


St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ journey in the Football World Cup campaign has ended, and as it has been for the past five outings of this nature, we have not made it any further than the group stage.{{more}}

This country finished third in the four team grouping, behind Guatemala and Belize, with Grenada last.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines garnered four points, having won one match and drawn two.

To some, this country had realistically no chance of getting past this phase and onto the next. Others thought that with greater effort and more systematic preparations, our chances would have been better.

The latter view has merit, as there was not fervour shown towards the preparations.

The group held no terror, as Guatemala did not offer the superiority which normally comes out of Central America.

But that is relative, as we did not serve much to compare.

The qualifiers came at a time when Football, like many other sporting disciplines here, is at a state of near infirmity.

Our most recent national league competitions did not inspire much and simply were just hosting activities to get winners.

But as we have seen in previous unsuccessful world cup campaigns, the sport often hits a low point.

So, are we going to just shut up shop, let things meander until it is time for another set of world cup qualifications in the next four years time?

Is the current Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, under Venold Coombs, taking a proactive approach to buck the trend of the expected occurrences, and make good on what this crop of players can offer?

This is paramount, as the present team represents the nexus of potential good players.

Getting the players into the mindset of their potential and impressing upon them to take on the garb of professionalism is the biggest hurdle, though, in the efforts, if they are pursued.

The ease with which some of the players are given the privilege of making the national team brings about a sense of complacency.

They, the players, are a microcosm of an emerging Vincentian psyche, where mediocrity is revered and indifference is saluted.

Most of the players are unemployed, and for some, Football is the only get out clause in a life of competitiveness.

Knowing this fragility, the forward thrust becomes even more intriguing.

So are we allowing them to go back into their old habits, then once again try to instill the correct attitudes in them when the next competition comes around?

Are they going to go back to their teams/clubs and transfer the good habits they have acquired to their peers?

The next mission is the Digicel Cup next year. So what is the current crop of players being asked to do in the interim?

Are those in the technical department of the SVGFF ‘s Executive, in collaboration with their local teams/clubs, willing to seek out opportunities to have those players with promise given some exposure, even it is at the semi professional level?

Also, it may sound like what we have heard before, which is to, as much as possible, keep the team active.

Part of the process should be a structured programme to get the players to a level of fitness suited for competitions.

Unfortunately, the lack of fitness was a debilitating factor in the team’s sojourn throughout the world cup qualifiers exercise.

This has been the suggestion made before, and it has fallen on deaf ears, but this time Coombs and his Executive have to be bold and somehow keep a national representative in some position of leadership.

As part of the process going forward, the Technical Director, Colwyn Rowe, should be relieved of his duties as national coach, and allowed to concentrate on developing our coaches here.

It was clear that Rowe’s style of coaching and his open use of expletives on the players do not mesh with the efforts to help restore that much needed discipline and sanity to a careening vehicle of morality.

This being proffered, can the SVGFF afford both personnel, i.e, a separate Technical Director and a Head Coach?

Football needs a life line, and that must come like yesterday, before we just once again have the sport and fun and games.