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Vincy Heat needs exposure to more competitive Football

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27.JUNE.08

Editor:

Thanks to the technological advancements of today, I was able to listen to the first leg of the World Cup qualifying football game, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Vincy Heat) VS Canada, via webcast on NICE radio. The commentary did not allow one to fully grasp what was happening on the field of play. Nonetheless, I was able to get the final results: Vincy Heat going under by three goals to nil (3-0).{{more}}

I looked forward to the return leg because I knew that I would be able to see it either live or on TV. I was impressed by Vincy Heat’s play during the first fifteen minutes of the encounter. Although they did not dominate play during this period, they gave a very good account of themselves. In the end Vincy Heat went under again by the same margin, but this time around they managed get on the score sheet. Thanks to some quick thinking and decisive play by Alwyn Parpie Guy who supplied the perfect pass which allowed Marlon James to convert.

I can easily find a number of things to complain about and to criticize. However, I don’t think that Vincy Heat were masters of their fate. From the games, it was evident that all is not well with our Football. Comments in the local papers seem to confirm my conclusion. The good news is, however, that nation building is an ongoing process. Now, let us use this round of World Cup qualifying as lessons and learning tools for the future.

When the games are analyzed by the technical staff and pundits, it will become clear to all concerned citizens and football fans where the team broke down and which areas of play need immediate attention.

My wish is that we as a nation will wake up to today’s reality. SVG is plugged in! Our youths have other interests to choose from. Sports no longer hold the lofty appeal that we have grown accustomed to. The reality is that our society has evolved, the youths have tuned into their electronic devices, gaming, other media and the Internet. Hence we have to modify the manner in which sports are delivered.

As far as Football and Vincy Heat are concerned, regular football competition must return to its rightful place in the society. Unless our players are involved regularly in competitive Football, then we will be participating in wishful thinking if we expect great things from the national team when they compete regionally and internationally. After all, these guys are playing against professionals when they travel overseas to compete. Unless we have money to throw away, we should not compete until we are ready.

So, as a nation, we must recognize that our Football has problems, and we must identify these problems and endeavour to solve them collectively.

I will end by reminding all concerned of the old saying: “practice makes perfect.” We had a coach from England, a FIFA envoy, Casey, in the early 1990’s, who modified that saying in this manner: “practice makes permanent.”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines,

let’s get our sportsmen and women practising!

Charles C. Henry

Winnipeg

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