Strong club structures will lead to a strong association says West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) president and former Fruta Conquerors and University of Guyana football coach Jevon Rodrigues.
In a recent sit-down with Stabroek Sport, Rodrigues spoke of the direction he intends to lead the WDFA under his tenure and how the game can be developed in his region.
“Collective plans of the association and not individualistic concepts will help to promote development of the game. Our emphasis will be on youth advancement at all age groups as we look to facilitate primary and secondary school tournaments while reestablishing the female game is also high on the agenda.
“I was appointed president of the WDFA last September because we had some administrative modifications. As you would know we have inherited a fractured association in terms of poor record keeping, games were being played contested and youth fixtures were nonexistent but now we have a plan, a guideline we are using that to help to promote football.”
Pressed about the competitive nature of the teams plying their trade under the entity’s umbrella and if they would be able to challenge their more illustrious counterparts in the Georgetown fraternity, the unassuming head stated that he believes that is very possible if the right edifices are put into place.
“Positive signs have been noted within the teams from a competitive perspective while youth team structures and progression have been encouraged. Coaching, a strong conduit for advancement and growth in totality is a facet we will be working towards.
“It’s going to be a slow progress but we are seeing optimistic signs that the interest is coming back and the youngsters are getting involved. Den Amstel, Uitvlugt and some of the other teams have very strong youth structures and we are going to encourage every club to have a youth programme. I know that West Demerara could compete with Georgetown teams, if Buxton could win the Kashif and Shanghai Tournament, why the West Demerara teams can’t do the same?
“Currently we have 11 teams playing under our banner and I would encourage other villages and personnel that have aspirations of registering and creating teams to seek us out for assistance and clarity on the aforesaid process at our Stewartville office. We are mandated not only to develop the sport but to spread the game throughout West Demerara area.”
He added that the previous administration had lost the confidence of not only the teams but the entire football society under the organization because of lucidity issues.
“Accountability and transparency to the constituents was a huge issue. “This unfortunate administrative ambiguity led to the fractured confidence of many of our precocious talents who simply stagnated due to the previous state of affairs. Some of our players migrated to Georgetown to train and compete while others choose not to participate anymore as this option was simply not financially beneficial to them. There was not that sort of explicability from the association to the clubs.
“When you are the head of an association your utmost priority and responsibility is to your constituents. There will be hiccups along the way and we will not get everything right on the first try but we the current executive is very much committed to football and its continued evolution.”