Please allow me the opportunity to extend a happy and successful 2014, to the football fraternity country wide.
Firstly, congratulations to Slingerz Football Club of Vergenoegen , East Bank Essequibo, on their victory in the recently concluded Banks/GFA knock out tournament 2013-14.
There are two significant points worthy of note; firstly, although it’s the third edition of this tournament it’s the first year that teams countrywide participated, making this victory one of national acclaim. Secondly, it’s the first time any club from either the West Demerara Football Association, to which Slingerz is registered and also the county of Essequibo where Slingerz is geographically located has ever won a national title! Well done Slingerz! More and bigger successes are expected from an ever increasing base.
This of course has financial implications with regards to attendance at games (gate receipts) and attracting corporate sponsorship, through competent, visionary and industrious executive management.
With regard to the national scene as viewed from an external position, I would like to make this point. That out of political manoeuvrings and confusion by various factions, hell-bent on securing their own brand or their own recognition and or superiority, to the detriment of development of football in Guyana, a possible, positive and most exciting solution has been stumbled upon. I say stumbled upon, because had circumstances remained as in the past, or fair play, integrity or justice were important factors during deliberations, then this opportunity that arose out of an abyss of chaos and confusion would have been side-stepped.
I refer to the rebirth of football in schools. At this juncture Digicel must be commended for its recognition, willingness and initiative to re-establish football in schools.
Simply put, the development of competitive football in schools could not have been placed more appropriately than in the stewardship of K&S. Who is better suited because of their experience or more qualified because of their successes than K&S to transform this venture from a state of inertia to public awareness and support.
My advice, humble and insignificant as it may seem or actually be, is for the GFF, K&S, Digicel, Ministries of Sport and Education and the coaches association to combine resources and develop a comprehensive plan of action to facilitate the foundation of Guyana’s football reaching the desired level, which is to qualify for 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The President of the GFF had reported both in the electronic and print media that Guyana has only five qualified coaches of which only three are capable of attaining international accreditation. Even though I would encourage the President to re-research his data I agree in spirit with his disclosure. Our “successful” local coaches have proven that regional competition is their Achilles heel. Qualification/certification provides a coach the opportunity to become exposed and acquainted with the field elements and aspects that have direct and proportional relations to success on the field.
A country’s football standard is only as good as the standard of its coaches and bearing in mind the President’s revelation, then it’s not difficult to understand why Guyana’s football is perpetually ranked in the high hundreds in FIFA’s rankings. The coaches association should therefore create within its ranks, the desire to become qualified, accredited and committed professionals. It will then be in a position to provide programmes , technical evidence and direction and support to the present crop of school footballers to achieve a world cup berth in 2022. This is a feat, already accomplished recently by Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and previously by Cuba and Haiti.
So once again a most successful 2014 and onwards.
Bilaal Eusi Nantambu