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Vincy Heat trains eyes on World Cup in South Africa

Vincy Heat trains eyes on World Cup in South Africa

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This country’s flagship football team, Vincy Heat, in preparation for the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers, began training Monday, November 12, and so far attendance and punctuality have been good.{{more}}

A squad of 30 locally-based players, along with several overseas-based professionals, has been identified as the ones to carry the charge of reaching South Africa.

Among those called up, is veteran striker, Alwyn Guy, who is seeking his fifth straight outing in World Cup Qualifiers.

The squad is under the guidance of Head Coach Roger Gurley, who has been the understudy for the past four years, first to the English pair of Cess Podd and Aide Shaw; then under the Serbia Montenegro Zoran Vranes.

A new Technical Director/Head Coach should be appointed soon, as an advertisement for the vacancy is out, following the end of Vranes’ contract, which expired last September.

The new executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation has been able to get the use of the Arnos Vale and Sion Hill Playing Fields; twice per week. Mondays and Fridays, training is set for the Sion Hill, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the squad makes use of the facility at Arnos Vale.

Wednesday is set aside to give players an opportunity to represent their respective clubs, in the National Club Championships.

The squad has begun its preparations, not only in improved facilities but with some fringe benefits. President of the SVGFF Joseph Delves told local journalists last week Monday, that the current training squad was equipped with new training gear, which cost the federation about $5000.

A welcome boost to the squad’s morale, as pointed out by Manager Roxell John.

While delighted with the facilities and the gear, John wants the use of a full sized field, so that players can assimilate better.

Delves also disclosed that a gym has been made available to the squad, and that a nutritionist would be provided to ensure the players’ health standards are maintained as they go through the rigours of training.

Delves said that a counsellor would also be made available to the players, as his executive is aware, that many of the young footballers have issues, which require professional help.

A technical and selection committee with a complement of twelve persons, is overseeing the matters pertaining to their mandate.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines received a bye to the second round of the qualifiers, and would have to wait the outcome of the play offs among the teams ranked 13th to 35th. The draw for the slots would be known November 25, in South Africa, the host of the 2010 football extravaganza.

But St. Vincent and the Grenadines would not represented in Durban next week, as an administrative glitch by the former executive, negated our presence.

This country’s attainment of the bye was based on the May FIFA World ranking, which put St. Vincent and the Grenadines at position 12th, among countries in the CONCACAF region.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is enjoying its best world ranking, 73rd, achieved at the October placing. This country is also third among the Caribbean Football Union and ninth CONCACAF.

At the four previous World Cup outings, St. Vincent and the Grenadines advanced to the group stages.

On debut in 1992, St. Vincent and the Grenadines took out St. Lucia and Suriname, before reaching the group phase.

Then at the 1998 qualifiers, this country advanced by beating Puerto Rico and St. Kitts. Similarly in the 2002, St. Kitts was again on the casualty list, along with Antigua and Barbuda.

Enjoying its best run to date, St. Vincent and the Grenadines ousted Nicaragua in the first round of the 2006 qualifiers, then pitted skills with Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts. Unlike the three previous campaigns, which saw them finishing pointless, St. Vincent and the Grenadines finished third in the group stage. (RT)

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