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Dorian Phillips – one of our best goalkeepers

Dorian Phillips – one of our best goalkeepers

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In the space of two years, Dorian Phillips moved from a “B” Division goalkeeper with the Avenues Football Club, to be on the nation’s national squad. And for the next 14 years, he established himself as perhaps the most exciting goalkeeper this nation has ever seen.

He was part of the formidable 1979 squad, which catapulted this nation into the annals of world renown. For it was that squad which caused one commentator to remark: “It is not the size of the country that matters but the quality of their team work. “ That was after St Vincent and the Grenadines, unknown in the football circles until then, stunned the region by placing second in the Caribbean Football Union Cup, staged in Surinam that year. For good measure, the Vincentians again placed second in the same tournament in 1981. {{more}}

And since then, they have maintained standing as one of the leading nations in the region. Granted, there has been some level of inconsistency, engendered by the paucity of facilities here. But when it comes to raw talent, there is absolutely no shortage. Dorian Phillips is an example of the abundance of potential that abounds here. And he did not just possess that potential. He manifested it.

Dorian, an airline employee, recalls getting a standing ovation in Antigua in 1981.

One of Dorian’s trademarks was his ability to “pick” the ball off the boot of an unsuspecting striker.

“Winston Soso used to do it. But I mastered it,” Dorian reflected.

It was not just a meteoric rise for him. He learnt his trade for other goalkeepers, and for him, Mike Findlay is the best goalkeeper he thinks the nation has ever seen.

In fact, Dorian is proud to have announced that “I get Mike Findlay’s gloves.”

He recalls the glowing accolades showered on him during his Antiguan spectacle.

“I was the most outstanding goal keeper. They say is the best goal keeper they ever see,” he stated.

He boasted a variety of moves, including changing position in mid air.

In a somewhat jovial fashion, Dorian went through the way he would have thwarted the hopes of a would-be striker.

“Yo running to the side. You pick it up and roll over,”

“In order to get over the person foot you fly,” Dorian explained.

He admires the work of present custodian Melvin ‘Nigerian’ Andrews.

“I admire Nigerian,” Dorian admitted, and added, “Nigerian respects me.”

He is however dissatisfied that the Football federation, of present and former vintage had not seen it fit to engage his services in whatever way.

The Federation hasn’t shown me any appreciation,” Dorian said. He acknowledged that he was approached by Sammy Carrington, and noted that he was the “only person (who) ever approached me.”

Dorian resides in the area of Gibson Corner, on the outskirts of capital city Kingstown. He thinks that the standard of the game has improved. He pointed however that “it did drop for a while, but I find they start picking up.” He added the “fellas in the outskirts improve.”

Dorian can be regarded as an authority on local football. He thinks very highly of the Notre Dame Football Club, which was dominant here in the late sixties and early seventies.

Dorian is full of praise for the 1979 Vincentian football squad, but he was bold enough to describe it as ‘the best team after Notre dame.”

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