Vincy Heat head coach laments preparation woes
Kendale Mercury, the head coach of the St Vincent and the Grenadines senior men’s football team dubbed Vincy Heat, has lamented the state of preparedness, as his charges go into the CONCACAF Zone world cup qualifiers versus Curacao and the British Virgin Islands next month.
“We are not in the best place as we should be, preparation wise, because we are not training because of the pandemic and the restrictions,” Mercury told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday.
Additionally, with the spike in coronavirus cases here in St Vincent and the Grenadines over the past two months, the national club championships have been suspended for an indefinite period, leaving players without match readiness.
But with St Vincent and the Grenadines opting to participate despite the many challenges, Mercury disclosed that he and his technical team will endeavour to do the best they can in the upcoming weeks.
He disclosed that a planned secured camp should commence from February 19, at the Technical Centre at Brighton, with players, management and ancillary staff, placed in a “ bubble” for the duration of the camp.
St Vincent and the Grenadines’ first match will be against Curacao in Curacao on March 25, and they will host the British Virgin Islands here five days later.
Placed in Group C of the qualifiers, St Vincent and the Grenadines play Guatemala in Guatemala on June 4 and swing around to take on Cuba on June 8, here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.
Not ruling out his team’s chances of getting good results from these matches, Mercury said one though has to be “realistic”.
As such he is imploring Vincentians to understand the state of football in the country and that it is a work in progress.
“We are asking the nation to bear with us and give us the chance … It is World Cup and everyone wants to do their best and their best is measured very high, probably reaching the last round of the CONCACAF qualifiers or even qualifying ourselves… People who are supporting football and the fans especially have to understand that it will take time,” he urged.
Mercury though sees the qualifiers as a preparation for the Gold Cup play-off in July.
“In preparation going forward, we want to use it (the qualifiers) as a stepping stone, like a pre-season tournament for the Gold Cup preparation … While trying to do our best; while trying to top the group, playing a particular way, acting a particular way, so we can carry a good momentum into the Gold Cup play-off in July,” Mercury assessed.
When St Vincent and the Grenadines participated in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, after getting past Aruba 3-2 on aggregate was placed in a group alongside the USA, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala.
The Vincentians were defeated 12-1 on aggregate by the Americans and was beaten 9-2 on aggregate by Trinidad and Tobago.
Similarly, Guatemala thrashed St Vincent and the Grenadines 13 -3 on aggregate. In total, the Vincentians scored 6 goals, while conceding 34.