New year, new outlook

BFA president unveils new development initiatives

The completion of Wildey, Astro Turf is always at the top of Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) agenda but President Randy Harris and his board have other plans for the development of football come 2017.

It is no secret the association will have a new technical director and national coach next year but in relation to further development of our national programmes, Harris told Barbados TODAY “we have been spinning top in mud over the years”, saying it is time enough we have a proper facility in place to properly train and develop our young players both male and females.

Gianni Infantino (left) and his delegation flew into Barbados recently to meet BFA President Randy Harris and to get a first hand view of the Wildey facility in February.

“We will have a trained technical director who would be the person looking to produce the type of players that would not only make Barbadians happy, but players we are hoping would have opportunities overseas academically and professionally. We are also looking at a national coach who has the experience to develop our players.

“We are concentrating on the Wildey facility. The plan there is to put up bleachers and the lights as soon as possible. The bleachers will be installed on the eastern side. We have a proposal, which we put to FIFA for overall development. They have asked us to submit for a grand stand on the western side. We are going to put some stands on the southern and northern side as well. So we are hoping by 2018 we should have everything completed and in addition we will put some dormitories so we can invite teams to train,” Harris said.

In addition he explained that even though major work will be done on the Wildey turf in the new year, it will be no quick fix, saying, “People are looking for results out of the blue and things don’t work like that, it has to be systematic. We want a facility that is proper, that can provide all the things that would be needed to have a successful team or teams.”

Reflecting on the 2016 football season, Harris said this is one of the few years that controversies were rare.

“It is one of the few years that they weren’t really any controversies in football. Yes, we had a problem again with the results of some of our games in the Premier League but we look forward to this coming year where we will put some measures in place to prevent that from happening,” he revealed.

The president also noted a growing interest in football, but pleaded with the teams to have more trained persons to work with their administration.

“I am inviting the clubs to invite more trained people to come and assist them with the actual administration of the clubs. We need people to come and show more love to the young people, people who are trained in different areas whether it be finance, management, marketing, whatever the area.” Harris said.

He also indicated that the BFA has plans to invite those gifted players who are not certified or accredited academically to a programme at the turf next year.

“We are hoping to feed them and maybe give them an out of pocket stipend to help with expenses and really deal with them in a serious way as far as their football development is concerned. What we are trying to do is give people that might not have been given the chance or opportunity to explore their skills to do so and perhaps go on trails,” Harris explained.

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