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‘We are rebuilding’ – says Coach Mercury

‘We are rebuilding’ – says Coach Mercury

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The Interim Coach of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines senior Football team which faced St. Kitts and Nevis in a friendly international last Saturday afternoon at the Arnos Vale Playing Field is not too perturbed with the team’s showing.{{more}}

The Vincentians were beaten 3-0 by their opponents, but coach Kendale Mercury is contending: “We are rebuilding”.

Sporting several members of the Under-20 squad, along with a few senior players, many of whom have few international caps, Vincy Heat failed to impress in front of an unforgiving home crowd.

It was the first time since June last year that the senior team got involved in a full international.

On the other hand, their opponents were coming off two friendlies against the region’s top teams Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, which they narrowly lost.

Mercury, who guided the Under-20 team to the runner up spot in the Caribbean zone final here in January, told SEARCHLIGHT that Saturday’s display by his charges was as a result of “lack of match fitness and a lack of football by some players”.

“We did not play well at all, but could have done better. We played poorly and that was evident because we had few shots on goal and sent in few crosses,” Mercury admitted.

“At times we showed some good sparks but could not maintain it,” he stated.

Mercury said he would not be carried away by the one result and affirmed that all is not lost with St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football.

“The team is a young team and will need time to gel,” he added.

Following last year’s World Cup tie against Canada, which Vincy Heat lost 3-0, and 4-1, many players announced their retirement from senior national representation.

“I have some growth among the young players in terms of their understanding of the game, and that is good,” Mercury said.

Mercury, the man who was at the helm when as host St. Vincent and the Grenadines lifted the Football segment of the Windward Islands School Games last month, is of the view with the right systems put in place by the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, the current crop of players, with all things being equal, can be a force to reckon with in next year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup Championships, which is the next major assignment for the senior national male outfit.

Last Saturday’s match was the first defeat for this country at the hands of St. Kitts and Nevis for some time.

After a goalless first half, the visitors came into their own early in the second half and let through Stephen Clarke in the 50th minute to loop the ball over the head of Winslow Mac Dowald in the Vincentian goal.

Five minutes later, the Kittians stand out player Tishan Hanley’s shot somehow evaded Mac Dowald’s grasp. Alexis Sandler sealed the deal in the 81st minute.

The last time both teams met at the senior level was the World Cup qualifier in Basseterre in 2004. At that time, the Vincentians had triumphed 3-0.

When both islands met at the Under-16 level in the Caribbean Youth Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in August 2007, they drew 0-0, and last year, the Vincentians were triumphant 1-0 in the Under-20 second round group stage.

Vincy Heat will meet the Kittians in the return leg set for September 19 in Bassetterre.

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