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More experience needed

More experience needed


Former St. Vincent and the Grenadines senior football team captain Ezra Hendrickson sees a lot of talent in the current group players, but thinks that they need more internationals in the upcoming months if they are to seriously make a challenge against Canada.{{more}}

Hendrickson made that observation to SEARCHLIGHT last week Friday night at the Victoria Park.

“The youngsters have a lot of talent. For many of them it would be their first time at this level, so they need to take their game to that professional level”, Hendrickson said.

The tall defender, who plays for Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the USA, suggested that with the nucleus of players available, the preparations must be stepped up ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is set to face Canada in a two way tie in June in second round action of the CONCACAF zone.

“The players are young and full of energy, but they need to get experience. FIFA has a calendar and every opportunity must be taken to get international games so that the players can take that experience”, Hendrickson advised.

And from what he has seen from the players in training, he thinks that they have a bright future football ahead of them.

Hendrickson had first hand experience of the players, as he and a group of former national players engaged them in a friendly encounter that same night at that venue.

The former captain, who represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 1995 to 2007, singled out midfielder Theon Gordon for his ability to carry the ball and create spaces.

Hendrickson, who retired from national duties last January at the end of the Digicel Cup Finals in Trinidad and Tobago, was grateful for the occasions he had to represent the land of his birth.

“I am happy to have represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was a good ride for me, as I have learnt a lot, as it was a step up from playing at the club level,” Hendrickson, who is from the Central Leeward town of Layou, said.

The six foot three-inch Hendrickson, who turns 36 on January 16, and with over ten years experience in the MLS, told SEARCHLIGHT that he plans to spend one more season at the professional level.

“In the MLS, I have been able to improve my game where there was need to improve, and I had the benefit of being coached by the great Brazilian Carlos Albert Perriera and play with persons like Blanco,” Hendrickson said with a broad grin.

Setting his sights on a career associated with Football, Hendrickson revealed, “From August, I would begin my Master’s in Sports Administration, with a view of becoming the GM of one of the MLS teams”.

“I have started some networking and getting all the possibilities available”, he projected.

One who has made certain that the world knows that he comes from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hendrickson began his MLS career with the New York Metro Stars in 1997, then moved to the LA Galaxy that same year and spent six years with that franchise.

He moved over to Dallas Burns in 2003, and to Charleston Battery, an A league club in 2004. Twelve appearances with DC United also in 2004, and one season Chivas USA in 2005, when the MLS was expanded, Hendrickson went across to the Columbus Crew in 2006.

He was among several players who last year announced their retirement from national representation, Hendrickson’s 12 year run with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines team saw him making 133 appearances.(RT)