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If the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s Strategic plan gets implemented, then thirty one per cent of the population of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be part of the football community.{{more}}

This is just one of the many objectives of the four year plan which is currently being circulated by the Joseph Delves led Executive.

Also part of the long term vision of the present Executive is for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be among the top five in the CONCACAF region and among the top 50 nations of the world game.

And the Executive is calling on government and the commercial sector to partner with it, as the plan can also help to fight some of the social problems which are confronting the local Vincentian community.

With an estimated cost of EC$4.5 Million needed to implement the four-year plan, it is proposed that the annual draw down of US $250,000, per annum, through the FIFA Assistance Programme (FAP), will cover a substantial part of the funding.

The balance is proposed to be garnered from the National Lotteries Authority, direct central government input, corporate St. Vincent and the Grenadines and gate receipts from competitions under the aegis of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.

The 39-page plan also has embedded in it core values such as “commitment to excellence, commitment to footballers, commitment to integrity, commitment to fair play, commitment to stakeholders, commitment to financial management and commitment to continuous improvement”.

The plan follows a list of other plans , coined by previous executives, and former technical directors. However, this has as the base of its pyramid: youth development, with the schools’ curriculum initiative accounting for approximately 15,000 of the football population.

The other ten centres of excellence will net another 500. As the pyramid narrows, the national Under-15, Under-17 , Under-20, and senior women and men’s teams will take care of another 200 players.

At the apex of the pyramid are the 20 Under 14/15 players with a two-year in take. Those youngsters will become eligible for the prime target, “The Football Academy”.

The overall plan was nudged recently with the staging of a one-day consultation on the restructuring of competitions, in which it was agreed to have 10 or 12 elite clubs .

The focus is to encourage the formation and sustainability of strong clubs to play in all the divisions and which can play and succeed at regional and international competitions.

The new structure will see a National First Division, with two clubs demoted and two promoted from the second division. The top division should see the use of the best facilities, the Victoria Park and Arnos Vale Playing Field.

According to the plan, the present structure sees weak clubs, a limited number of quality clubs, a limited number of quality matches, too many leagues, and scant regard for transfers and the like.

Fifteen clubs will form the second division, with a promotion and demotion system. Two clubs at the end of the national competitions will be demoted to the A leagues, while the two top clubs go to the First Division, replacing the two bottom clubs. Sion Hill, Campden Park and other community playing fields, are the proposed venues for the hosting of A leagues’ matches.

The A leagues provide an entry base for clubs aspiring for participation in the national divisions. The A leagues, according to the proposals, must have a minimum of three divisions, men, youth and women.

Those playing just for the fun will not be left out as the out of season competitions form the B leagues.

The intentions of the Executive are expected to be rubber stamped early next year, when the SVGFF holds its Annual General Meeting, at which the plan will be tabled for approval. (RT)